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OVERALL CONCLUSIONS

If we take into account the whole of the Rural Communication System in Mexico, whether it was working for peasant farmers in the tropical wetlands, helping farmers to take over the responsibility for the irrigation districts, or providing information by a computerized system to commercial farmers in Sonora, we must come to the conclusion that there have never been more imaginative communication programmes in the rural sector. Despite all of the problems, the conceptual and technical aspects of communication for development were brilliantly handled in the 17 years beginning in 1978, and extremely valuable experience in rural development was gained.

Development agencies and most governments today talk of the need for participation in development programmes, but they often admit in the same breath that they do not know how to go about achieving it. Mexico's Rural Communication System provides a good example of how it can be done.

The Sonora Technical Information and Communication Unit is an important pilot operation because it has implications for many other situations in which commercial farmers need to become more competitive and market their produce better. Like the other communication activities in Mexico, it also has great potential for application in other countries.

The main weaknesses in the Communication System lay in the managerial aspects and in the inability to institutionalise it as part of the national rural development policy. But then, no other country has institutionalised communication for development either, even if Mali and some other African countries are now trying to do so. Perhaps information and communication systems like the one in Sonora are more likely to become institutionalised than those aiming to help small, mainly subsistence farmers. For they have the advantage, on the one hand, of using Internet technology which is prestigious and on the other, they are directed towards a commercially very important farming sector whose success in world markets has a more direct impact on the national economy than do the rural poor.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

SOURCE MATERIAL AND FURTHER READING

Jose Luis Calva. (ed) 1993. Alternativas para el Campo Mexicano, Vols. I and 11. Fontamara. Mexico.

Gonzalez, C.H., F.J. Gonzilez Villarreal and M. Contijoch Escontria. 1994. Desarollo Integral del Tropico Hu'medo by. Comision Nacional del Agua, Mexico.

FAO. 1995. Comunicacion y Capacitacidn para el Desarrollo del Tropico PRODERlTH 11, Mexico. Draft final report. Rome, Italy.

FAO. 1995. Study in 19 Vols of Mexico's agricultural sector conducted under project UTF/MEX/030/MEX. Rome, Italy.

FAO. 1987. A Rural Communication System for Development in Mexico's Tropical Lowlands (communication for development case study). Rome, Italy.

FAO. 1990. Towards Putting Farmers in Control - A Second Case Study of the Rural Communication System for Development in Mexico's Tropical Wetlands (Communication for development case study). Rome, Italy.

FAO-MAS. 1994. La Agricultura en Sonora frente a los Retos de la Modernizacion. Mexico.

IMTA. November, 1994. Estudio de Factibilidad - Unidad de Informacion Te'cnica y Comunicaczon. Mexico.

IMTA. February, 1995. Unidades de Comunicacidn para el Desarrollo Agricola y Rural: Politicas y Tareas en un Etapa de Transformacion Productiva y Modicacidn Tecnologica (Draft working paper for discussion. Tamuin, Mexico.

IMTA. 1977- 1995. Catalogo de Produccion Audiovisual. Mexico.

IMTA. September 1995. Taller de Formacion de Enlaces de Comunicacion, Distrito de Riego 014, San Luis Rio Colorado. Mexicali, Mexico.

IMTA. 1995. La Red de Comunicacidn - Un Conceptoy un InstrumentoMetodologico (IMTA working document. Mexico.

ASERCA. 1995. Mexico-Agricultural Trading Companies. Mexico.

ASERCA 1995 Empresas C°mercializadoras Regionales Agropecuarias. Mexico.

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