SG2000 been a prominent NGO in efforts directed at the dissemination of improved technology to smallholder farmers and the improvement of farmers’ practices in 14 Sub-Saharan African countries including Malawi .
The SG2000 approach is based on the principle that ‘agricultural development cannot be achieved unless farmers have greater access to science-based agriculture
Achieving sustainable food security in Malawi requires that farmers continuously adopt improved agricultural production technologies in order to realize yield potentials from decreasing land resource base.
Although some programme reviews were conducted about SG2000 programme activities in Malawi, these focused specifically on SG2000 contributions to increased crop yields; the govt’s commitment to taking up SG2000 tech. transfer activities; and recommendations for improving on-going country programme activities
After nine (9) yrs of SG2000 interventions in Malawi (1998-2006) a comprehensive study to assess the effectiveness of the SG2000 programme approach to agricultural technology transfer not yet conducted
Hence this proposed study which was aimed at bridging this gap. Specifically the study was set to provide answers to the following questions:
what was the level of farmers’ participation in SG2000 prog. activities?
The main objective was to assess farmers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of SG2000 Programme Approach to agricultural technology delivery in Northern Malawi.
Specific objectives of the study were to:
describe the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of participating farmers in terms of sex, age, formal education, hhsize, farm labour sources, land holding size, yrs of farming experience, level of income, major crops grown in the area, access to farm credit, sources of extension services and extension teaching methods.
examine farmers’ adoption levels of the technologies disseminated under SG 2000 programme
identify the constraints to non-adoption of technological recommendations under the SG 2000 programme, and
examine the relationships between selected farmers’ demographic and socio-economic characteristics and their perceptions of the effectiveness of the SG 2000 programme approach to agricultural technology delivery,
H0: There is no significant relationship between farmers’ level of participation and their socio-demographic characteristics such as age, gender, level of income, years of farming experience, level of formal education, and access to credit.
H1: Farmers’ level of participation is significantly related to their and socio-demographic characteristics such as age, gender, level of income, years of farming experience, level of formal education, and access to credit.
This study has documented strengths and weaknesses of SG 2000 Programme Approach to agricultural technology delivery in Northern Malawi over the past nine (9) years.
By pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the SG 2000 Programme Approach the study findings could provide guidance to SG 2000 Programme or any other related programme implemented along SG 2000 lines for enhancing the effectiveness of agricultural technology delivery.
Another benefit from the study could be provision of the current state of maize production technologies adoption levels by farmers.
By assessing the level of adoption of maize production technologies disseminated under SG 2000 Programme and the factors influencing adoption, the study findings have provided information that could be used by policy makers, researchers and extension agents to design appropriate strategies for improving and increasing agricultural production in the country.
Farmer participation in agricultural extension prog.
Adoption and diffusion of innovations
Adoption of maize prodn technologies in SS Africa
Figure 1: A Conceptual Framework of the SG2000 Approach Effectiveness Farmer perception of the technology Extension Method Source: Author construct Effectiveness of the approach Level of Participation (in Planning, Implementn, Monitoring & Evaluation) Farmer’s socio-economic & demographic characteristics Level of technology adoption Level of satisfaction with technology
An interview schedule was used to collect data from the selected farmers.
First section captured data on socio-economic characteristics of farmers-(level of formal education, land holding size, farm labour type, level of income), and farmers’ access to credit.
Second section captured data on level of farmer participation, level of technology adoption and level of farmer satisfaction with technologies.A five point Likert-type scale ranging from 5=very high to 1=very low was used to measure the perceptions .
In addition the 2 nd section also captured data relating to farmers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of MTPs and SG2000 also using a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 5=very effective to 1=very ineffective
Third section captured data relating to respondents’ demographic characteristics (age, gender, household size)
The last section captured control data such as district, village, and respondent’s code number.
Both open-ended and close-ended questions were included in the instrument.
level of technology adoption, age, gender, level of formal education, farm labour type, land holding size, yrs of farming experience, access to credit and
To test if there were any significant differences between means across districts and gender of farmers on perceptions of farmers’ level of participation, & level of adoption of technologies) an independent sample t-test was computed.
Table 5: Distribution of farm labour sources among farmers 100.0 194 Total 12.4 24 Both family & regular 50.0 97 Both family & casual 1.5 3 Regular 2.1 4 Casual only 34.0 66 Family only % Freq. Source of labour
Table 6: Distribution of landholding size Mean=2.39, SD=0.85 100.0 194 Total 11.9 23 5.0ha or more 27.8 54 3.0-4.99 ha 47.9 93 1.0-2.99 ha 12.4 24 Less than 1ha % Freq. Landholding size (ha)
Table 7: distribution of years of farming experience Mean=20.39, SD=11.32, Range=48 100.0 3.6 7 45-54 100.0 194 Total 96.4 9.8 19 35-44 86.6 17.5 34 25-34 69.1 37.1 72 15-24 32.0 26.3 51 5-14 5.7 5.7 11 <5 Cum.% % Freq. Yrs of farming
Table 8: distribution of income levels of respondents
Note: US$1.00=MK141.87 (Reserve Bank of Malawi, 2007)
100 194 Total 24.7 48 No 75.3 146 Yes Percent (%) frequency Response
Table 12: Sources of agric. extension services 3.6 7 Farmer-based organisations 43.3 84 NGO extension staff 32.5 63 Fellow farmers 100 194 Government extension staff Percent (%) Frequency Source
Table 13: Extension teaching methods as experienced by respondent-farmers Source: Field data (2007) 88.7 172 Field days 42.3 83 Group discussions 2.6 5 Farm magazines 20.6 40 Posters 23.2 45 Leaflets 24.7 48 Radio 19.1 37 Farm exhibits 94.8 184 Method demonstration 50.0 97 Results demonstration % Freq. Extension method
Table 14: Farmers’ perceptions of their level of participation in SG 2000 Prog . Overall mean=3.83, SD=0.84, Range=1.43 0.91 4.09 Joint evaluation 0.71 4.12 Joint monitoring 1.44 3.07 Organising farmers meetings 1.45 3.62 Group discussions 2.59 3.53 Organising field days 0.95 4.06 Attendance of meetings 0.72 4.50 Participation in planning project activities SD Mean Items
Table 15: Farmers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the MTP . Overall mean=4.69, SD=0.47, Range=0.18 0.58 4.63 Generate active farmer participation 0.55 4.69 Enhance farmers, interest in the demonstrated technologies 0.46 4.81 Able to obtain high yields 0.60 4.64 Provide technical information on maize production SD Mean Items
Table 16: Farmers’ level of satisfaction with the technologies disseminated Overall mean=4.56, SD=0.43, Range=0.7 0.44 4.75 Satisfaction with use of inorganic fertilizers 1.00 4.05 Satisfaction with use of herbicides/conservation farming 0.59 4.51 Satisfaction with fertilizer application method 0.51 4.74 Satisfaction with use improved varieties 0.53 4.74 Satisfaction with row spacing (75cm) 0.53 4.59 Satisfaction with plant spacing (25cm) SD Mean Items
Table 17: Farmers’ level of adoption of the technologies disseminated Overall mean=4.26, SD=0.45, Range=0.87 Adoption of use of herbicides/conservation farming Adoption of fertilizer application method Adoption of use of inorganic fertilizers Adoption of use improved varieties Adoption of row spacing (75cm) Adoption of plant spacing (25cm) Items 3.61 4.23 4.48 4.47 4.47 4.30 Mean 0.95 0.58 0.55 0.58 0.58 0.55 SD
Table 18: Constraints to technology adoption 2.6 5 Resistant to pests & diseases 1.5 3 Improved varieties not drought tolerant 0.5 1 Inadequate mkt facilities to absorb farm produce 43.8 85 High costs of seed Improved varieties 0.5 1 Intercropping potential ltd 46.9 91 High labour demand Row spacing 1.0 2 Intercropping potential ltd 64.4 125 High labour demand Plant spacing % Freq. Constraint Technology
Table 19: Constraints to technology adoption/… 27.8 54 High carry-over of pests and diseases 0.5 1 High infestation of termites 52.6 102 High costs of herbicides 10.3 20 High labour requirement in terms of spraying & residue incorporation Use of herbicides 69.6 135 High labour demand Fert. application method 49.5 96 High costs of fertiliser Use of inorganic fert. % Freq. constraint Technology
Table 20: An independent sample t-test analysis by sampled district P<0.05 .000 9.687 0.23 0.44 4.59 4.05 75 119 Rumphi Chitipa Level of adoption of the technologies .230 1.205 0.23 0.51 4.61 4.53 75 119 Rumphi Chitipa Level of satisfaction with the technologies .035 2.124 0.38 0.51 4.78 4.64 75 119 Rumphi Chitipa MTP effectiveness .000 16.932 0.48 0.55 4.65 3.32 75 119 Rumphi Chitipa Level of participation in the programme Sig. t (2-tailed) SD mean n district Sub-score
Table 21: an independent sample t-test analysis by sex of respondents P<0.05 Sig. t (2-tailed) SD mean n sex Sub-score .268 -1.110 0.48 0.43 4.22 4.29 88 106 F M Level of adoption of the technologies .002 -3.101 0.48 0.35 4.46 4.65 88 106 F M Level of satisfaction with the technologies .000 -3.842 0.54 0.36 4.55 4.81 88 106 F M MTP effectiveness .764 -0.301 0.73 0.92 3.81 3.85 88 106 F M Level of participation in the programme
Table 22: Summary of results of a step wise regression analysis .005 7.914 .033 .136 .145 0.094 Access to farm credit .000 23.517 .031 .104 .109 -0.135 Perception of MTP effectiveness .000 .157 1.555 Constant Sig. F Change Std error Adj. R-square R-square Beta Predictors
The SG 2000 Programme Approach attracted a higher level of farmer participation particularly in such areas as planning, monitoring and evaluation of project activities
The management training plot which was probably the principal extension teaching method was rated as being very effective in provision of maize production knowledge, yield improvements, stimulating farmer interest in the disseminated technologies and eliciting active farmer participation.
To address the problem of shrinking land holdings among smallholder farmers in the longer-term, the GoM should ensure security of tenure and distribute land to the landless or near landless. Ensuring security of tenure will help in developing the land market, which may have implications of increased agricultural productivity such as facilitating access to financial or physical capital.
MoAFS through the Department of Extension Services should promote appropriate extension teaching methods such as group contact methods to pass across technologies given the nature of the technology to disseminate.
The management training plot (MTP) as a method of agricultural technology delivery should be promoted and mainstreamed into public extension programmes to enhance farmer acquisition of knowledge and skills in new technologies.
MoAFS should promote farmer participation in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of different agricultural extension programme activities for sustained adoption of technologies. To be achieved through institutionalization of participatory extension approaches for increased farmer participation.
The significant differences between men and women in their perceptions of the MTP and level of satisfaction with the technologies is an indication that there are gender differences in farming systems. To address this, project planners (both MoAFS & NGOs) should identify goals, decision criteria & the context of the decisions for women before project implementation.
A similar study comparing views from all key stakeholders namely, SG2000 Prog Officials, Agric. Ext. staff of MoAFS, farm input dealers and farmers would greatly contribute to the available literature on effectiveness of extension approaches.
There is need for a study on the effectiveness of government/NGO collaboration in the delivery of extension services.
It is also essential that expenditures in extension should be followed by rigorous efforts to measure the economic impact on farmers. A study to assess the economic impact of the SG 2000 Prog. would be of great significance.