Farmer trainers should be selected based on their interest and ability to teach others rather than on their successes in implementing farming techniques, shows a new study led by Steve Franzel, a scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).
In the study by Franzel, Charles Wambugu and Tutui Nanok, 126 adopters of fodder shrubs, fast-growing leguminous shrubs for feeding dairy cows, in Kenya took part in the study that found that 40% of expert farmers were not effective disseminators.
About 225,000 smallholder farmers in East Africa are growing fodder shrubs to increase their milk production. The overall impact of the shrubs in terms of additional net income from milk is high, at US$19.7 million to $29.6 million in Kenya alone over the past 15 years.
In most extension projects the model farmer is selected based on their expertise and how successfully they have been in attaining and in some cases superseding the desired results.
“This finding has great implications on how extension is practiced,” said Franzel. “It means that choosing a farmer to demonstrate and teach other farmers will only be as effective as their skills in passing on the information.”
The results of the study suggest that extension programs that choose farmer trainers on the basis of their farming expertise will not promote dissemination as effectively as those that choose trainers on the basis of their dissemination skills.
“I have helped my fellow farmers in improving their farming methods because I have been able to show them how much more milk I am producing thanks to the fodder shrubs. I have also been able to teach them how to increase milk production on their farms because I have had training on how to teach other farmers,” said Rose Wanjiku, one of the farmers who was part the study.
“Changing how we choose farmer trainers in this way would see more extension projects reap the full benefits of their work,” said Franzel, who was speaking at the ongoing, Innovations in Extension and Advisory Services: Linking Knowledge to Policy and Action Conference underway in Nairobi, Kenya.
This major international conference organized by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) seeks to bolster faltering support for government agencies, private operators, and individuals who collectively provide a critical link in the field between agriculture knowledge holders and policy makers and millions of struggling smallholder farmers, in developing countries and more particularly in Africa.
Paul Stapleton | EurekAlert!
Back to Nature: Palm oil plantations are being turned back into protected rainforest
21.03.2019 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
The inner struggle of the evening primrose: Chloroplasts are caught up in an evolutionary arms race
14.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
25.03.2019 | Trade Fair News
25.03.2019 | Life Sciences
25.03.2019 | Information Technology