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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: October 2011

Chapter 1 - A New Journey

    • By Li Xiaoyun, Rural Sociology, and Development Studies, Qi Gubo, Beijing Agricultural University, Lu Min, College of Agronomy, Xu Xiuli, College of Economics and Management, Ronnie Vernooy, Wageningen Agricultural University
  • Edited by Ronnie Vernooy, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Li Xiaoyun, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Xu Xiuli, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Lu Min, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Qi Gubo, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
  • Publisher: Foundation Books
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9788175968707.003
  • pp 1-24

Summary

‘I am very glad to go on this journey to Ningxia. It's good experience for me. Kutuan village is the hardest place I have ever been.

A week ago, we prepared for the field research. There was much discussion, and our opinions were incorporated into the framework we designed. Now I understand why the course facilitators emphasised the need to ask farmers for their ideas.

During the days in the field, we got to know the farmers. They have their own ideas, interests, and wishes, but they also have problems. Their lives depend on the weather, the sheep, the water, and so on. Most of these factors are hard to control. I don't know what I can do to help them change their lives. They have dreams and are fighting to make them come true. I admire the spirit of the farmers whom we visited. They are unpretending, loyal, and warm-hearted. Even though we were working with them only a few days, I was greatly moved. This experience is a rich treasure in my life.

Communication is very important, not only among our partners, but also between farmers and us. On this journey, I communicated a lot. It helps our work and it helps me understand participatory rural development. Collaboration is a good way to work. Even though a minor conflict arose in our small group, we were able to solve it and finish our work together. We need to do self-examination. […]