Effectiveness of the famer-to-farmer extension model in increasing technology uptake in Masaka and Tororo Districts of Uganda
AbstractAn effective extension model focuses strongly on the dissemination and facilitation of the adoption of recommended technologies and practices to achieve its objectives. The farmer-to-farmer extension model has proved a success in Latin America (Kruger, 1995; Simpson and Owens, 2002; Hellin, Rodriguez and Coello, 2002), the Far East (Farrington and Martin, 1993) and a number of African countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Muok, Kimondo and Atshusi, 2001). In recent years, the model has been introduced in Uganda following the perceived ineffectiveness of the public extension models.
However, the success of the new model has not been tested or established. This study was, therefore designed to provide evidence of its performance. The objectives of the study, which was conducted in two districts of Uganda (Masaka and Tororo), were to:
a) identify the key players in the farmer-to-farmer extension approach; b) explain the nature and characteristics of the major players; c) examine the roles played by key players in the communities; d) determine appropriate communication channels in the communities; and e) identify the determinants of the effectiveness of the farmer-to-farmer extension model The effectiveness of the farmer-to-farmer extension approach was measured by:
i) increased technology uptake; ii) increased production; iii) increased food availability; iv) the multiplier effect in information-sharing; and v) increased sales of commodities. The results were compared to those in areas where the farmer-to-farmer approach was not applied but with all other conditions remaining the same. The effectiveness of the model was found to depend on facilitators in terms of:
a) their socio-economic closeness to the beneficiaries; b) their multiple community roles which boosted communication networks; c) their role in enhanced information flow among individuals of similar social status; d) better interaction and information-sharing among beneficiaries; e) their being community-based they devoted more time to their fellow beneficiaries; f) their use of demonstration facilities for experiential learning. The model can be applicable in a wide range of development fields where beneficiaries assume roles of development facilitators in their own communities.
S.Afr. Tydskr. Landbouvoorl./S. Afr. J. Agric. Ext., Vol. 39 Nr 2, 2011: 30 – 46