Seeds and rights: new approaches to post-war agricultural rehabilitation in Sierra Leone

S. Archibald, P. Richards

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    Based on preliminary findings of ongoing 'action research' in the war zone in central Sierra Leone, this paper shows how more equitable seed distribution could contribute to fostering a culture of human rights as well as to agricultural rehabilitation. Assessment of seeds-and-toosl programmes in 19 villages found that aid agency targeting and distribution modalities channelled inputs through village committees which denied assistance to intended beneficiary groups. Such distribution inequalities constitute violations of fundamental human rights, exacerbate grievance and division and maintain the threat of social disorder. The benefits and disadvantages of an alternative, more inclusive, rights-based approach to seed distribution are discussed, and preliminary results from the pilot phase of CARE's Rights-based Approach to Food Security Project are presented. Under this project, village-level peace and rights days are held to allow villagers to debate the vulnerabilities that facilitated the war and to elaborate on local notions of human rights. In symbolising new beginnings, seed can be seen as a useful medium through which to debate a more inclusive - and ultimately less vulnerable - society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)356-367
    Number of pages12
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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