Environment, aquaculture, and food policy nexus: Case study of two USAID aquaculture projects in Rwanda

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Hillary Egna

Type of Document:
Scholarly Article


Marcel Dekker, Inc.

Date of Publication:

Place of Publication:
New York, NY


Abstract: This case study centers on some of the institutional networks that evolved in Rwanda around aquatic food resources and how these networks acted as microcosms of the larger system being played out at the national level. The majority of aquaculture activity throughout the 1980s was led by two US Agency for International Development funded projects, the Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture Collaborative Research Support Program and an extension project, the Projet Pisciculture Nationale. Changes brought about by project networks became embedded in Rwanda’s cultural, economic, and political structures. Through 15 years of promotion by donors, nontraditional farming technology was gaining a foothold in Rwanda. The case study demonstrates that institutional networks arose not through organizational preplanning but by default. This resulted in few of the planned Objectives being as successful as unanticipated outcomes, such as the emergence of women as new technology adopters, the development of a highly successful water quality laboratory, and the inclusion of aquaculture into national policy. Many of the unanticipated results derived from the efforts of expatriates, who promoted aquaculture both actively and passively. While the expatriates were effective, the study questions whether a few external actors should accumulate so much power and influence over development agendas.

Additional Bibliographic Information

D.L. Soden and B.S. Steel (Editors), Handbook of Global Environmental Policy and Administration. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, pp. 281–314.

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