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Body of Knowledge

A Rural Communication System for Development in Mexico's Tropical Wetlands
by Colin Fraser

Abstract:
After reaching the economic limits of agricultural expansion in its irrigated lands, Mexico needed to develop production and improve living standards in its Tropical Wetlands. But the first initiatives in the 1970s were catastrophic: the expensive infrasture installed was misused by the local people and allowed to fall into disrepair. In the 1980s, a renewed development effort in the tropical wetlands (PRODERITH) was begun with the support of WB and FAO. Because of the previous failures, PRODERITH included the creation of an innovative communication system. This worked in peasant communities, mainly with video, for situation analysis and the identification of development options, leading to a Local Development Plan. The execution of that Plan invariably called for education and training, and video and supporting printed materials were used to help in that training. Furthermore, video was also used as a communication channel to the institutions responsible for the management of PROFERITH's work. The Word Bank considered PRODERITH one of its most successful rural development projects and credited much of that success to the Communication System. (See also 'Towards Putting Farmers in Control' by the same author, a second case study of PRODERITH, and 'Communication for Rural Development - In Good Times and in Bad' a third case study by the same author with Sonia Restrepo Estrada).

Publication Type: Authored Book: 37 pages
Publisher: FAO (1986)
Location: Rome, Italy
Language: English

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