FARMER MANAGERIAL SOVEREIGNTY: AN INTERNATIONAL ISSUE GLIMPSED IN KENYA & THE UK

Professor E. John Wibberley, PhD, FRAgS,

University of Reading & Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, UK, ejwibberley@btinternet.com

 

ABSTRACT

Decision-making is a crucial component of farm management. Farmers may choose to cede decision-making to others inside or outside their businesses (as specialists, contractors or consultants). However, their decision-making may be [or may feel] usurped against their will. This Paper explores Farmer Managerial Sovereignty (FMS). FMS is about the extent to which decision-making is freely and flexibly in the hands of practical farmers and farm managers at farm level rather than with bureaucrats, policymakers, the suppliers of their inputs and/or the buyers of their outputs. This paper explores whether or not FMS has changed over the past two decades, and if so, how? Do farmers/farm managers in Kenya feel more or less change in FMS over these past two decades than those in the UK or vice versa? Two somewhat eclectic samples of 24 contrasting farmers/farm managers from Kenya and 24 from the UK were asked to provide indicative responses: Kenyan farmers felt FMS only lessening somewhat, notably due to increased government bureaucracy and public scrutiny. The UK sample aggregate FMS score indicated a much lessened to lessened overall FMS during the past two decades, especially due to increasing environmental rules, pesticide limitations, increased government bureaucracy and public scrutiny.

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