This is an outdated, inactive version of this case. Go to the current version.
Approaches
Inactive

Promoting farmer innovation [Uganda]

approaches_2418 - Uganda

Completeness: 89%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
FAO (FAO) - Italy
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
CIS-Centre for International Cooperation (CIS-Centre for International Cooperation) - Netherlands
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MoA) - Kenya

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Yes

1.4 Reference(s) to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Technologies

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

Identification of farmer innovators in SWC and water harvesting, and using them as focal points for visits from other farmers to spread the practices and stimulate the process of innovation.

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

Aims / objectives: The Promoting Farmer Innovation (PFI) approach seeks to build on technical initiatives - innovations in the local context - developed by farmers themselves in dry/marginal areas where the conventional approach of transfer of technology from research to extension agents, and then on to farmers, has so often failed. The approach basically comprises identifying, validating and documenting local innovations/initiatives. Simple monitoring and evaluation systems are set up amongst those innovative farmers who are willing to co-operate. Through contact with researchers, extra value is added to these techniques where possible. Farmer innovators are brought together to share ideas. Finally, best-bet technologies, in other words those that are considered to be good enough to be shared, are disseminated through farmer-to-farmer extension. This takes two forms. First, farmers are brought to visit the innovators in their farms. Secondly farmer innovators are used as teachers/trainers to visit groups of farmers - including FAOs farmer field schools in some cases. Only in this second form of extension is an allowance payable to the innovator. A ten-step field activity methodology has been developed.

Methods: At programme level, there is capacity building of in-line extension and research staff, who are the main outside actors in the programme. In each of the countries the project has been implemented through a government ministry, which partners various NGOs in the field. The principle, and practice, is not to create separate project enclaves, but to work through existing personnel, sharing buildings and vehicles that are already operational in the area. A programme development process methodological framework shows how the ultimate goal of institutionalisation can be achieved. PFIs first phase, completed in 2000, was financed by the Government of The Netherlands, through UNDP, and was active in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

2.3 Photos of the Approach

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied

Country:

Uganda

Region/ State/ Province:

East Africa (parts of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda)

2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:

1996

Year of termination (if Approach is no longer applied):

2000

2.7 Type of Approach

  • project/ programme based

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The Approach focused mainly on SLM with other activities (Better land husbandry practices (eg composting, crop selection))

Improve rural livelihoods through an increase in the rate of diffusion of appropriate SWC/water harvesting technologies based on farmer innovation, and through farmer-to-farmer exchange visits. At a higher level: to demonstrate the effectiveness of such an approach so that it can be institutionalised.

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: - poor supply of relevant recommendations from research for small scale farmers in marginal areas - poor delivery of SWC technologies (where they exist) to farmers - lack of motivation of research and extension staff - isolation of promising ???innovative??? SWC/water harvesting ideas which address low crop yields, land degradation and poverty - lack of exchange of this knowledge

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

social/ cultural/ religious norms and values
  • hindering

Favoured farmer syndrome: where too much attention is given to particular innovative farmers and jealousy is aroused in others

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Avoid working with innovators who are so exceptional that they are outside society and others cannot relate to them. Rotate the farmers who are used as learning points: in other words once another farmer has adopted the technology, use him or her as the focal point.

availability/ access to financial resources and services
  • hindering

Danger of identifying innovations that are good technically but too expensive for ordinary farmers to implement.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Linked to point (1) above: beware of farmers who are too exceptional/too rich.

institutional setting
  • hindering

Lack of motivation of research and extension institutions

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Bringing them together with farmer innovatiors

legal framework (land tenure, land and water use rights)
  • hindering

Who gets the credit for the particular innovation?

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Important to make sure that an innovation is traced back within the locality to its roots, identifying the 'owner'. Especially important when a name is attached to an innovation.

The existing land ownership, land use rights / water rights hindered a little the approach implementation Farmers will only invest time and effort in innovation when they have secure land use rights (though not necessarily ownership), which is the case in all the areas where PFI has been operational. Access to land for women was a problem which inhibits women innovating.

other
  • hindering

Cultural: Gender imbalance in identification of innovators: women overlooked

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Gender sensitisation and training: bring together the identifiers with the farmers - male and female.

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities
  • SLM specialists/ agricultural advisers
  • NGO

All involved et different levels: after implementation mainly government and NGO

  • national government (planners, decision-makers)

All involved et different levels: after implementation mainly government and NGO

  • international organization

All involved et different levels: after implementation mainly government and NGO

If several stakeholders were involved, indicate lead agency:

International specialists in collaboration with/after discussions with national specialists and land users

3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation passive public meetings, interviews/questionnaires, workshops/seminars, rapid/participatory rural appraisal; interviews/Participatory Rural Appraisals etc
planning passive rapid/participatory rural appraisal, interviews/questionnaires, public meetings, workshops/seminars; interviews/Participatory Rural Appraisals etc
implementation interactive Mainly: farmer-to-farmer exchange, responsibility for minor steps; partly: responsibility for major steps; interviews/Participatory Rural Appraisals etc
monitoring/ evaluation interactive Mainly: public meetings, measurements/observations; partly: workshop/seminars; monitoring, using forms designed mainly by specialists
Research interactive on-farm

3.3 Flow chart (if available)

Description:

Farmer innovation methodology left: Field activities: the ten steps– from identification through to using innovators as trainers. (Critchley, 2000) right: Programme development processes: the framew

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • mainly land users, supported by SLM specialists
Explain:

???Best -bet??? technologies chosen by extension agents/researchers based on the selection of innovative farmers??? technologies identified in the field - but the farmers choose (develop) which technology to implement.

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by by land users* alone (self-initiative / bottom-up)

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?

Yes

Specify who was trained:
  • land users
  • SWC specialists, extensionists/trainers
Form of training:
  • public meetings
  • courses
Form of training:
  • farm visits
Subjects covered:

Staff seconded from Ministries of Agriculture/NGOs provide: (1) methodology training for participating staff (2) presentational skill training for farmer innovators and (3) training in gender aspects.

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?

Yes

Specify whether advisory service is provided:
  • at permanent centres
Describe/ comments:

Name of method used for advisory service: Farmer innovator approach; Key elements: There are new roles for government/NGO extension staff under this methodology - as trainers and faci, Identify farmer innovators, form networks of farmer innovators, which meet, Bring farmers to se 'best bet' innovations; 1) Advisory service was carried out through: government's existing extension system, non-governmental agency; Extension staff: mainly government employees 3) Target groups for extension: land users

Advisory service is quite adequate to ensure the continuation of land conservation activities

4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • yes, moderately
Specify the level(s) at which institutions have been strengthened or established:
  • local
Specify type of support:
  • capacity building/ training
Give further details:

training (see also Annex A3)

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?

Yes

Comments:

bio-physical aspects were regular monitored by 0 through observations; indicators: soils, moisture

technical aspects were regular monitored by 0 through observations; indicators: inputs

socio-cultural aspects were ad hoc monitored by 0 through measurements; indicators: number of men/women participating

economic / production aspects were regular monitored by 0 through observations; indicators: yields

area treated aspects were ad hoc monitored by 0 through observations; indicators: None

no. of land users involved aspects were ad hoc monitored by 0 through observations; indicators: None

There were few changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: Some changes, for example (a) increased numbers of women identified as innovators in response to gender sensitisation/training and (b) ???rotation??? of farmer innovators used for training - that is not using the same farmers all the time, as this can create envy. E.g. also better integration with government services/system for technical backstopping and extension

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?

Yes

Specify topics:
  • technology
  • socio-economics
Give further details and indicate who did the research:

Theoretically, researchers should respond to the farmers??? research agenda, though this has proved difficult to achieve in practice. Apart from process monitoring of the methodology, which has led to improvements, technical research into the innovations has been relatively weak.

Research was carried out on-farm

5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

If precise annual budget is not known, indicate range:
  • 100,000-1,000,000
Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: government (national government): 20.0%; international (International agency): 60.0%; local community / land user(s) (-): 20.0%

5.2 Financial/ material support provided to land users

Did land users receive financial/ material support for implementing the Technology/ Technologies?

No

5.3 Subsidies for specific inputs (including labour)

If labour by land users was a substantial input, was it:
  • voluntary
Comments:

done by the farmers themselves

plant materials - farmers often are given or collecting planting.
Support to institutions has been moderate: it has mainly taken the form of transporting existing groups (for example womens groups/church groups) to learn from farmer innovators.

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?

No

6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach improve issues of land tenure/ user rights that hindered implementation of SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Gender sensitisation training may have helped. The problem is unlikely to be overcome in the near future.

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • uncertain
If no or uncertain, specify and comment:

There are examples of spontaneous voluntary continuation of farmer innovator groups in all three countries - but on a reduced level after initial project support ended.

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Builds on local ideas (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Continue the approach and institutionalise.)
Revitalises the extension service (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Train and make use of existing Government extension agents.)
attractive to stakeholders at all levels (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Involve and inform stakeholders at all levels of plans and progress.)
Gives land users more confidence in their own abilities (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Continue to prioritise farmers and keep them at centre of activities.)
Offers new locally tested ideas/technologies which work (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Keep the focus on the farmers??? initiatives and use participatory technology development processes to improve these technologies.)

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Dependent on individual commitment and flexibility Training in skills and methodologies.
Does not follow the conventional institutional chain of command Considerable training in skills and methodologies required.
Sometime confers too much prestige on a particular group of ???favoured farmers??? Rotate??? farmers who are the focus of attention.
Researchers reluctant to respond to farmers??? agenda Effort needed to convince research staff of the need for, and potential benefits from, joint Critchley WRS (2000) Inquiry, Initiatives and Inventiveness: Farmer Innovators in East Africa. Phs Chem Earth (B), Vol 25, no 3, pp 285??¡§288Critchley WRS (2000) Inquiry, Initiatives and Inventiveness: Farmer Innovators in East Africa. Phs Chem Earth (B), Vol 25, no 3, pp 285??¡§288Critchley WRS (2000) Inquiry, Initiatives and Inventiveness: Farmer Innovators in East Africa. Phs Chem Earth (B), Vol 25, no 3, pp 285??¡§288Critchley WRS (2000) Inquiry, Initiatives and Inventiveness: Farmer Innovators in East Africa. Phs Chem Earth (B), Vol 25, no 3, pp 285??¡§288research with farmers.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Critchley WRS (2000) Inquiry, Initiatives and Inventiveness: Farmer Innovators in East Africa. Phs Chem Earth (B), Vol 25, no 3,Mutunga K and Critchley W (2001) Farmers??? initiatives in land husbandry. Regional Land Management Unit, Nairobi, KenyaCritchley W and Mutunga K (2003) Local innovation in a global context: documenting farmer initiatives in land husbandry through WOCAT.Critchley et al. (1999). Promoting farmer innovationPromoting farmer innovation VIDEO

Available from where? Costs?

RELMA, Nairobi (cost free)RELMA, Nairobi (cost free)

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Mutunga K and Critchley W (2001) Farmers initiatives in land husbandry. Regional Land Management Unit, Nairobi, Kenya

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Critchley W and Mutunga K (2003) Local innovation in a global context: documenting farmer initiatives in land husbandry through WOCAT.

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Critchley et al. (1999). Promoting farmer innovation

Available from where? Costs?

RELMA, Nairobi (cost free)

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Promoting farmer innovation VIDEO

Available from where? Costs?

RELMA, Nairobi (cost free)

Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all

Modules