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«Dispute or Residing Together in Harmony? Bean Cultivation and Theft in Rural Ethiopia Tesfanesh Zekiwos Gichamo Uppsala 2011 EX0681 Master Thesis 30 ...»

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The population in Beseku Ilala peasant association in 2007 was 12,078 with a household having 6 members on average (CSA 2008).

Agriculture is the main livelihood for the people who are living in this area. Crop production and livestock rearing are the major farming activities in Beseku. The major crops that grow in this area are maize, wheat, sorghum, potatoes and barely.

Cattle, horse, donkey, sheep and goat are important livestock which are used as a draught power and income generation (Chiwona-Karltun et al, 2009; Tolera et al 2008).

4 Gote is a local name for a collection of 30-34 households

19 About fifty years ago the larger part of Beseku was covered by forests and open grazing land. Due to the population growth, most of the areas, which were covered by forests, have been converted to cropland. Cropland agriculture has now become the dominant livelihood for the farmers (Karltun et al 2008; Chiwona-Karltun et al, 2009).

Figure 3.3 Forested land which is converted into cropland.

Beseku Ilala Peasant Association February, 2009.

A cross sectional survey was conducted for a period of two months from January – February 2009. Three Gotes were selected for the study. Two of the Gotes Shibeshi Gasha 1 and Shibeshi Gasha 2 had not reintroduced bean growing. Farmers who are living in the third Gote called Boye had started growing beans. The Gotes were selected on the basis of earlier findings as the study was part of an ongoing project in the area. According to the peasant association household lists, there were 34 registered households in Shibeshi Gasha 1 and Shibeshi Gash 2 respectively and 30 households in Boye Gote.

20 The study respondents were selected based on purposive sampling. Key informants with special knowledge about bean theft were identified. Subsequent respondents were identified using the snowball technique which utilizes subjects who may able to recommend other potential candidates for the study (Bernard 2000, p.179). In addition to this, women, men, youth, and local institution leaders and Peasant association administrators were also interviewed as they were regarded to possess relevant knowledge for answering the research question.

Qualitative and semi-quantitative data collection approaches were utilized in the study. Qualitative data collection methods were used to get deep and holistic understanding of complex and sensitive realities from the respondents‟ perspective (Mayoux 2006, p.118; Kvale 1996, p. 27). Individual interviews, key informant interviews and focus group discussions were the main methods of data collection in this study. All individual and key informant interviews were face to face interviews, administered by the researcher together with the field assistant. This was a useful method to address a sensitive issue in the locality (Bernard 2000, p.190) such as bean theft. The questionnaire was pre-tested prior to administering by translating all questions to the local language and by discussing the questions with the field assistant and some key informants. Interpretation of the questions is one of vital importance for the response of the interviewees (Nichols 1991, p.27).

Prior to conducting interviews and focus group discussions, transect walks with local institutional leaders, local supervisors and the field assistant were carried out in all three Gotes. It took us two hours in each Gote. Transect walks were conducted to observe special peculiarities of the study area, people, crop farms and other natural resources. Moreover, it helped me to found out the perception of the local institution leaders about their community, natural resources, land use, cropping system and vegetation.

The in-depth interviews were comprised of closed and open-ended interview questions that were based on earlier findings in the area related to bean theft. Open ended questions were included to give opportunity to the interviewees to bring up

–  –  –

Key-informant interviews were administered with members of the community that had profound knowledge about problems of bean theft in the area. Key informants were men, women, youth, elderly, as well as notable members of the community.

In-depth interviews were carried out to describe qualitative character and to get answers for the questions „how and why‟ (Rubin and Rubin 2005, p.3). Key informant interviews lasted approximately one hour.

To get an understanding and measure respondents‟ attitudes towards bean theft a likert Scale questionnaire was administered. Both positive and negative statements (Cauvery 2003) related to bean theft were produced with a range of odd number of choices ranging from strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree and strongly disagree.

These were adapted to the local language and cultural understanding. The variables and statements were developed by induction based on previous study findings (Bernard 2000, p.295).

22 Focus group discussions were conducted in all the three study areas. In order to give freedom to talk openly (Dawson et al 1993, p.24; Nichols 1981, p.14) separate women and men focus group discussions were held. Participants were local institution leaders and community members such as elderly, men, women and young people. A focus group discussion provides the opportunity to assess group consensus, different opinions and views of respondents (Lloyd-Evans 2006; Pratt and Loizos 1992, p.55).On average, both women and men focus discussions lasted 1- 2 hours. In all focus group discussions, the author moderated the discussion by using a checklist. General questions were used to introduce the topic and to encourage wide discussions (Dawson et al 1993).

Figure 3.5 Showing Men‟s focus group discussions, February 2009.

Beseku Ilala peasant association Content analysis (Taylor-Powell and Renner 2003) and descriptive statistical methods were used to analyze qualitative and quantitative data respectively. The sources of the data were interviews and focus group discussions. Open-ended questions from interviews and focus group discussions produced words, statements, phrases and paragraphs of text. In the course of data analysis recorded interviews and focus group discussions were subjected to transcription. After transcription, themes and issues that arose in the time of discussions and interviews were 23 identified, assembled, organized and coded in a meaningful way and careful examination of data was carried out (Lloyd-Evans, 2006). This enabled the researcher to give interpretation to the data (Cauvery et al 2003, p.196; Alvesson & Sköldberg 2000).

Using different data collection methods such as individual, key informant interviews and focus group discussions enabled validation of the collected information. According to Johansson, a triangulation of methods is useful to validate the findings especially of the qualitative nature (Johansson 2007).

Validation is defined as cross-checking information which is collected from different sources and ensures reliability and agreement between sources of information (Pratt and Loizos 1992, p.79). Mayoux states that it is possible to get „reliable information‟ through in-depth key informant interviews (Mayoux, 2006).

„„The key principles of validation are never to take anything at face value, never to rely on one person‟s opinion or perception, and cross-check the different perceptions of different actors or observers about the same fact‟‟ (Pratt and Loizos 1992, p.79).

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Figure 3.6 Scheme of Data collection methods, which were used in the study 24 Since this study was part of an ongoing study in the area it was not difficult to get permission from the local administrators to undertake the study.

The aim of the study was presented to the potential study participants before interviews and focus group discussions. In addition to this, respondents were informed that their views and opinions were valuable for the research. Mayoux (2006) indicated that researchers are dependent on respondents‟ willingness and cooperativeness to give information. So researchers should be aware of ethical issue (Mayoux 2006;

p.123). Before interviewing, respondents were assured anonymity and confidentiality. In all individual interviews, key informant interviews and focus group discussions permission was asked to use recorder.

25 This chapter presents the results of the study. It is divided in to five sub topics starting with the social characteristics of the respondents. Following this likert scale questions which were used to measure people‟s perceptions and attitudes toward bean theft and respondents response is presented. In addition to these, the drivers of bean theft, the issue of women related to bean theft and the factors that determined the adoption of bean cultivation are presented.

For the in-depth interviews, 22 respondents were selected from 68 households in the Gotes Shibeshi Gash 1 and Shibeshi Gash 2 with ages ranging from 19 to 69 years. In addition to these 12 key informants were interviewed (Table 4.1). Table

4.2 shows demographic composition of sampled households.

Six focus group discussions were administered in three Gotes. Four focus group discussions (two men and two women) were conducted in Shibeshi Gash 1 and Shibeshi Gash 2 Gotes. Two focus group discussions (men and women) were carried out in the Boye Gote. This was for comparison purpose. In each group 4-8 respondents participated in the discussions.

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26 As shown in Table 4.1 the number of women respondents was less compared to men in both individual and key informant interviews. It was not feasible to include many women in the study due to their domestic work such as taking care of children, cooking food, fetching water and going to market. And also, it is noteworthy, some refused to be interviewed.

–  –  –

During the interviews and discussions some respondents pointed out that unemployment, poverty and delinquent behaviour were the drivers of bean theft.

Other drivers of bean theft were getting money from stolen beans and being released without punishment from the police station. Moreover, other respondents stated that even if children and women were engaged in stealing, the youth were the ones who were stealing to a large degree because they are strong and easily escape. Many respondents indicated that in this area land is given to children when they are grown up. Respondents said that some young people have sold their land and as a result they are land less. This has increased unemployment in the area.

27 Therefore they claimed that the only remaining option was stealing from other farms and selling to get money and food. In addition to this, respondents indicated that youth does not want to engage in agricultural activities. They do not want to

work. One respondent during individual interview stated that:

‘‘We want to work hard to improve our life; we want to work for our children’s better life. But people who do not like to work are stealing from our farm’’.

(Source: Individual interview, Beseku Ilala Peasant association, Feb 2009) As pointed out in the attitudinal questions, 15% of the respondents claimed that poverty is one of the drivers of bean theft. A key informant stated that land shortage and unemployment were leading to poverty and poverty in turn lead to theft. From the interviews and focus group discussions it could be understood that some children were beyond their parents‟ control; they did not accept the advice of their parents. The respondent also stated that the formulation of the by- laws did not encourage farmers to grow beans because the youth were not obedient to the

by-laws. During interview a key informant made the following remarks:

‘‘There are young boys in our village who are beyond their fathers’ and the Iddir control. They are the ones who are stealing every year. We fear them … at the present time boys do not obey their fathers, girls do not obey their mothers. Some do not want to work. They do not look for jobs. They want to steal other people’s property. They spend their time in the town and city without jobs’’.

(Source: Key informant interview, Beseku Ilala Peasant association, Feb 2009) Some farmers in Shibeshi Gasha villages received the information package including bean seeds for planting in the year 2007. These farmers were mostly male farmers belonging to the male Iddirs. However, none of them planted any beans in their residential area; some even refused to receive beans while those that received bean seed planted them in other villages. „„Why do you think I bought land in another area to cultivate beans if there is no theft in this area?‟‟ one male respondent questioned during an individual interview. Another respondent on

individual interview stated that:

28 ‘‘Farmers have not started growing beans in our area...I bought land in other area to cultivate bean. It is not possible to grow beans in our area’’.

(Source: Individual interview, Beseku Ilala Peasant association, Feb 2009) Out of the total respondents 25% of the respondents indicated that they buy land in other Gotes where there was bean cultivation. As they mentioned they had enough land in their own Gote but they were afraid to grow bean because their farm was far away from their home. Some of the people who could afford to rent or buy land in any other Gotes were growing beans. No such information was obtained from interviews with women farmers.

The study revealed that women in Shibeshi Gasha Gotes were not included in the information and distribution of bean seed in the first round in Beseku. However, they had heard about it and learned from their husband and neighbours about the programme. Thus there was no formulation of by-laws in the women‟s Iddirs in these Gotes. During individual interview a women noted that:‘... in the women Iddir we did not discuss about bean theft and we did not formulate by-laws’’ (Source: Individual interview, Beseku Ilala Peasant association, Feb 2009)

A woman who heard about the by-laws from her husband mentioned that:

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