Published on February 19, 2014
Farmer-to-farmer extension: a viable option to enhance agricultural dissemination? Evidence from Cameroon Ann Degrande, Sygnola Tsafack, Steven Franzel and Brent Simpson World Congress on Agroforestry Delhi, 10-13 February 2014
Why growing interest in research on extension approaches? Staggering Production, Declining Resource Base & Enduring Poverty Low adoption of agricultural innovations Ineffective dissemination methods Underfunded national agric extension services Effective and low cost ways of disseminating agricultural innovations Little knowledge on how farmers access and spread information and material
Why involve Community-Based organisations in agricultural extension? • Not all extension • Not all aspects of services need to be extension are pure organised or executed public goods by government agencies DECENTRALISATION AND PRIVATISATION DEMAND-DRIVEN FEE-FOR-SERVICE ORGANISATIONAL PUBLIC PROVISION PLURALISM EMPOWERMENT Public sector finance PARTICIPATORY essential in countries with APPROACHES many subsistence farmers
Sources of information on agroforestry 40 35 % of respondents 30 project village 25 witness village 20 Wide range of sources of information 15 10 5 Fellow farmers and farmer groups are important sources of information 0 Source of agroforestry information Source: Degrande et al., 2013. Adoption Survey
Objectives To characterise and assess farmer-to-farmer extension approaches in Cameroon and determine which practices are most effective under varying circumstances – Assess experience of different types of extension services in using F2F extension – Determine perceived effectiveness of F2F extension – Determine motivation of lead farmers involved – Identify benefits and challenges
Organisations surveyed Identified as potential 151 Contacted 119 Using F2F 47 Selected 31 Interviewed 25 = 53%
Importance of F2F extension in Cameroon government agricultural extension in Cameroon (2009 FAO data) Farmer-to-farmer extension (study done by ICRAF in 2013) • Total economic active population in agriculture: 3,568,000 • Government extension staff: 1651 1 extension worker for 2161 farmers • 47 organisations involved with F2F extension in 7 regions – – – – – 60% national/local NGOs 24% international NGOs 16% Farmer Organisations 0% Governmental Organisations 0 % private sector • 388 lead farmers/farmer trainers; => 1/3 women => 1 field staff for ± 17 LF => 1 LF for: ± 4 groups/communities + indiv farmers training and advising ± 220 farmers => 50% of them do weekly visits
Who is lead farmer? Different names used in F2F extension Criteria to select lead farmers Hard working/role… Good… Local animator, f acilitator, t echnician, Resource person 24% Good communicator Lead Farmer 32% Availability Able to read and write Interested Capacity to learn Contact farmer 4% Locally based trainer, far mer trainer 28% Resident farmer Model Farmer 8% Village Based Program Promoter 4% Past… Educated 0 5 10 15 Number of organisations 20
What are LF doing? 1. Train farmers 2. Conduct follow-up visits 3. Mobilise communities for meetings and demonstrations 4. Provide technical advise What support are LF getting? • Training – Initial training – In-service training – External learning opportunities • Extension material: brochures, posters, leaflets, … • Inputs for demonstration: seeds, fertilisers, nursery material, … • Transport (29%) and communication (37%) • Reimbursement of expenses incurred to attend meetings and trainings organised by organisations
Motivation of lead farmers Main reasons to BECOME a lead farmer Main reasons to REMAIN a lead farmer According to organisations According to lead farmers According to organisations According to lead farmers 1. Altruism 1. Early access to new technology 1. Altruism 2. Job benefits 2. Income generating potential 1. Income generating potential 2. Job benefits 2. Job benefits 3. Early access to new technology 3. Early access to new technology 3. Income generating potential 3. Altruism
Advantages of F2F extension approach organisations Overall performance appreciation : 7.5/10 90 Lead farmers 80 % of responses 70 60 50 40 30 20 Institutional perspective 10 Lead farmer perspective 0 Advantages of F2F approach
CONCLUSION & IMPLICATIONS 15
• Lead farmers do a wonderful job, but their role is not sufficiently known/recognised/supported • Major challenges: – – – – Selecting lead farmers Motivating lead farmers (financial and non-financial incentives) Technical and logistical support to lead farmers Approach is not institutionalised/harmonised; very few organisations have written guidelines on their F2F extension approach – Record keeping and monitoring and evaluation of F2F – Identifying farmers’ training needs and designing appropriate training modules and material for lead farmers to use – Creating synergies with other agricultural advisory services and notably with government extension services
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