UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST




   FARMERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE

    SASAKAWA GLOBAL 2000 PROGRAMME APPRO...
DECLARATION



Candidate’s Declaration

I hereby declare that this thesis is the result of my own original work and that n...
ABSTRACT



       Sufficient food production remains an important condition for alleviating

food insecurity in Malawi. H...
delivery. Improving smallholder farmers’ access to farm credit through

appropriate government interventions will also hel...
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS



       I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my Principal

Supervisor, Dr. Ismail bin Yah...
DEDICATION



To my parents, Kingsley Wakisa Chilenga and Rozalia Nandeka




                            vi
LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS



ADD       Agricultural Development Division

AEDC      Agricultural Extension Develo...
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Content                                                                                                ...
Sampled Districts .................................................................................................. 16

C...
Adopter Categories and their Characteristics ....................................................... 42

Determinants of A...
CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Introduction................................................................................
Major crops grown................................................................................................ 81

Util...
of satisfaction with technologies and level of technology adoption by sex

           of respondents ........................
LIST OF TABLES

 Table                                                                                                    ...
17: Respondent-farmers’ sources of agricultural extension services in the study

        area................................
29: Regression coefficients ................................................................................. 112




    ...
LIST OF FIGURES

Figure                                                                                Page

1: Map of Mal...
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION



Background to the Study

       Agriculture is the single most important sector of Malawi’s eco...
consisting of smallholder farmers and an estate sub-sector. The smallholder sub-

sector is based on a customary land-tenu...
The Agricultural Services Project (ASP) spearheaded the main agricultural

technology development and dissemination effort...
extension component directed at the dissemination of improved technology to

small scale producers and the improvement of ...
•   focus should be on single enterprise (main staple crop) first then on the

       farming system;

   •   improved pro...
•     demonstration of on-shelf and ‘best bet’ maize production practices

         (timely planting, correct plant spacin...
approaches (Farrington, 1997). SG 2000 is one of the organizations that have

worked actively to alleviate food security b...
•   what were the major challenges and constraints preventing farmers from

       adopting the technological recommendati...
4) examine the degree of farmers’ satisfaction with the technological package

       disseminated under the SG 2000 Progr...
Hypothesis 2

H0: There are no significant differences in perceptions of level of participation,

effectiveness of MTP, le...
H1: Technology adoption is significantly related to the level of farmers’

participation in the SG 2000 Programme.

Hypoth...
•   Level of farmers’ participation in the SG 2000 Programme activities

   •   Farmers’ perceptions of the effectiveness ...
Another benefit from the study could be provision of the current state of

maize production technologies adoption levels b...
Northern part of Malawi. The region was chosen because previous programme

evaluations had covered the two other regions, ...
Perception: as used in the study, refers to a mental set, attitude or a conceptual

direction of an individual or group of...
wide with a total land area of 118,484km2, twenty (20) per cent of which is

covered by water.

       Maize is the major ...
SG2000 Programme operated in four (4) of the six districts in the region. The

study covered Chitipa and Rumphi districts....
Rumphi District: A Brief Profile

       Rumphi district is bordered by Zambia to the west, and Karonga, Chitipa

and Mzim...
Figure 1: Map of Malawi Showing Location of the Sampled Districts




                                   19
Figure 2: Location of Focal Study Areas in the Districts Sampled.




                                                   N...
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW



Introduction

       This chapter reviews existing literature on the meaning of agricultur...
getting useful information to people and then assisting those people to acquire the

necessary knowledge, skills and attit...
Empirical evidence shows a variety of forms in which interaction among these

groups is institutionalized. The variety of ...
food security; improving equity in access to, and security of the means of

production (including information, advice and ...
by nationalists since it was inequitable, particularly in that such farmers were

actually subsidized through taxation of ...
development” is the “strengthening of the institutional base for smallholder

agriculture (Staatz and Eicher, 1990, p. 28)...
that the government is committed to agricultural development. On that basis the

SG 2000 insists on working through govern...
2002). While these models are by definition idealized abstractions of reality, they

provide guidance on the development a...
associated with governments’ objectives of immediate food production, where

according to Swanson et al. (1990), pursuing ...
1989). The outcomes of this approach are that the decisions farmers will take may

not be associated with government polic...
makers both on and off the farm. Fliegel (1993) points out that the participatory

approach applies particularly to packag...
Extension Communication Methods

According to Venkatesan and Kampen (1998), an extension method is a means of

motivating ...
particular ways of operating a method (Leeuwis, 2003). The purpose of extension

work is to awaken the desire for technica...
after the completion of twenty-five (25) World Bank financed agricultural

projects found that continued success associate...
accessibility, are neutralized by the free or subsidized provision of inputs.

Without the subsidy on inputs the resource ...
Widely used typologies and classifications of forms and levels of

participation according to Pretty (1994) are based on t...
empowering; starts from what people know and from where they are; is based on

resources mobilized by them; relies on thei...
The opportunities for improving technologies to improve farmer incomes

are expanded through participation, farmer-centred...
the institutional framework for participation- for example, to decentralize fiscal

and administrative functions, to build...
reaching certain categories of farmers. Defining and facilitating operational

linkages at an early stage is crucial. This...
innovation, developing interest in the innovation, evaluation of the innovation’s

advantages and disadvantages, trial (te...
Adopter Categories and their Characteristics

       An important finding from adoption research was that innovations are ...
concerns, demographic factors, institutional factors and delivery mechanisms.

Some studies classify the above factors int...
amount of literature on this subject has expanded tremendously. Because of this

extensive literature, the following secti...
and Singh, 1993) especially if the technology requires a substantial amount of

initial set-up cost, so-called “lumpy tech...
crop acreage with the new technology may be a superior measure to predict the

rate and extent of adoption of technology (...
there is a problem that warrants an alternative action to be taken. Without a

significant difference in outcomes between ...
1995), and IPM on peanuts in Georgia (McNamara, Wetzstein, and Douce, 1991).

The effect is thought to stem from accumulat...
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Francis Chilenga's Master dissertation focused on the assessment of the effectiveness of the Sasakawa Global 2000 Programme approach to agricultural technology delivery in northen Malawi

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Mphil Thesis Finalversion

  1. 1. UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST FARMERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SASAKAWA GLOBAL 2000 PROGRAMME APPROACH TO AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY DELIVERY IN NORTHERN MALAWI BY FRANCIS WAKISA CHILENGA THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AND EXTENSION OF THE SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE COAST IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AUGUST 2008
  2. 2. DECLARATION Candidate’s Declaration I hereby declare that this thesis is the result of my own original work and that no part of it has been presented for another degree in this university or elsewhere. Candidate’s Signature: ………………………………….Date: …………………... Name: ……………………………………………………………………………… Supervisors’ Declaration We hereby declare that the preparation and presentation of the thesis were supervised in accordance with the guidelines on supervision of thesis laid down by the University of Cape Coast. Principal Supervisor’s Signature: …………………………..Date: ……………….. Name: ……………………………………………………………………………… Co-Supervisor’s Signature: ………………………………… Date: ……………… Name: ……………………………………………………………………………… ii
  3. 3. ABSTRACT Sufficient food production remains an important condition for alleviating food insecurity in Malawi. However, achieving sustainable food security requires that farmers continually adopt improved agricultural production technologies in order to realize yield potentials from a decreasing land resource base. An effective and efficient extension system is, thus, very essential to the dissemination and adoption of improved agricultural technologies. This study was carried out to assess the effectiveness of the Sasakawa Global 2000 approach to agricultural technology delivery in Northern Malawi. Using a descriptive correlational survey design, data were collected from 194 Sasakawa Global 2000 participant-farmers using a proportionate stratified random sampling method from two purposively sampled districts, namely Rumphi and Chitipa in Northern Malawi. The results revealed that the Sasakawa Global 2000 approach attracted a high level of participation by farmers in planning, monitoring and evaluation of programme activities. The management training plot and access to farm credit were the two important factors found to explain the effectiveness of the Sasakawa Global 2000 approach. Results also revealed a high level of adoption of the technologies disseminated under the Sasakawa Global 2000 Programme. Based on these key findings, it is recommended that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MoAFS) should mainstream the management training plot into public extension programmes. In addition, MoAFS should promote the use of participatory extension approaches in agricultural services iii
  4. 4. delivery. Improving smallholder farmers’ access to farm credit through appropriate government interventions will also help smallholder farmers ensure food security at household level. iv
  5. 5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my Principal Supervisor, Dr. Ismail bin Yahya and Co-supervisor, Dr. Albert Obeng Mensah, for their constant guidance and encouragement, without which this work would not have been possible. For their unwavering support, I am truly grateful. I am also grateful to all the lecturers in the School of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension in particular, especially Professor Joseph Kwarteng and Dr. Festus Annor-Frempong for their support towards the successful completion of my studies in Ghana. Without the financial support of the Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension education (SAFE) which offered me a scholarship for graduate studies, this work would not have been possible. Special thanks go to Dr. Deola Naibakelao, and Mr. Nick Sichinga, National Coordinator for SG 2000 in Malawi for granting me that rare opportunity. I also would like to express my heartfelt gratitudes to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Malawi for granting me study leave and for supporting me during the entire data collection period. Many thanks also go to Messrs M. Lweya, M.T.W Hara, D. Nyirenda and N. Mwenibungu for their assistance and dedication during the field work. I am really grateful to them. I would also like to thank my friends, and colleagues at the University of Cape Coast for their encouragement and moral support which made my stay and studies in Ghana more enjoyable. To them I say “we meet to part, but more importantly we part to meet.” v
  6. 6. DEDICATION To my parents, Kingsley Wakisa Chilenga and Rozalia Nandeka vi
  7. 7. LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ADD Agricultural Development Division AEDC Agricultural Extension Development Coordinator AEDO Agricultural Extension Development Officer ASP Agricultural Services Project BES Block Extension System DADO District Agricultural Development Office DAES Department of Agricultural Extension Services EPA Extension Planning Area FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations GoM Government of Malawi IPM Integrated Pest Management MDGS Malawi Development and Growth Strategy MoAFS Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security NGO Non-Governmental Organisation NRIA National Research Institute for Agriculture SAA Sasakawa Africa Association SG 2000 Sasakawa Global 2000 T&V Training and Visit ToT Transfer of Technology USAID United States Agency for International Development WB World Bank vii
  8. 8. TABLE OF CONTENTS Content Page DECLARATION .................................................................................................... ii ABSTRACT........................................................................................................... iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.................................................................................... v DEDICATION....................................................................................................... vi LIST OF ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ............................................. vii TABLE OF CONTENTS..................................................................................... viii LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................... xiv LIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................ xvii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION1 Background to the Study......................................................................................... 1 Statement of the Problem........................................................................................ 6 Objectives of the Study........................................................................................... 8 General Objective ................................................................................................... 8 Specific Objectives ................................................................................................. 8 Research Hypotheses .............................................................................................. 9 Variables in the Study........................................................................................... 11 Rationale for the Study ......................................................................................... 12 Delimitations......................................................................................................... 13 Definition of Key Terms....................................................................................... 14 Description of Study Area .................................................................................... 15 Country Profile...................................................................................................... 15 viii
  9. 9. Sampled Districts .................................................................................................. 16 Chitipa District: A Brief Profile............................................................................ 17 Rumphi District: A Brief Profile........................................................................... 18 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction........................................................................................................... 21 Agricultural extension: Meaning and its significance .......................................... 21 Agricultural Extension in Malawi: An Overview................................................. 24 SG 2000 and Agriculture Development in Malawi .............................................. 25 Agricultural Extension Models: A Comparative Overview.................................. 27 The Technology Transfer Model .......................................................................... 28 Farmer First Model ............................................................................................... 29 Participatory Model .............................................................................................. 30 Sustainable development extension model ........................................................... 31 Extension Communication Methods..................................................................... 32 A Comparison of Individual and Group Methods ................................................ 33 Farmer Participation in Extension Programmes ................................................... 35 Definition of Participation .................................................................................... 35 Types and Levels of Participation......................................................................... 35 Benefits of Participation ....................................................................................... 37 Costs of Participation............................................................................................ 38 Key Elements in Promoting Participation............................................................. 39 Adoption and Diffusion of Innovations ................................................................ 40 Stages in the Adoption Process............................................................................. 40 ix
  10. 10. Adopter Categories and their Characteristics ....................................................... 42 Determinants of Adoption..................................................................................... 42 Economic Factors.................................................................................................. 44 Farm Size .............................................................................................................. 44 Cost of Technology............................................................................................... 46 Level of Expected benefits.................................................................................... 46 Off-farm hours ...................................................................................................... 47 Social Factors........................................................................................................ 47 Age of Adopter ..................................................................................................... 47 Education .............................................................................................................. 49 Gender Issues and Concerns ................................................................................. 49 Institutional Factors .............................................................................................. 50 Extension Contacts................................................................................................ 50 The Combined Effect............................................................................................ 51 Adoption of Maize Production Technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa .................. 53 Use of Inorganic fertilizer and Improved Varieties .............................................. 53 Adoption of Other Crop Management Practices................................................... 54 Conservation Tillage............................................................................................. 55 Definition of Conservation Tillage ....................................................................... 55 Impact of Conservation Tillage on Yield.............................................................. 55 Adoption of Conservation Tillage ........................................................................ 56 Conceptual framework.......................................................................................... 57 Introduction........................................................................................................... 57 x
  11. 11. CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Introduction........................................................................................................... 63 Research Design.................................................................................................... 63 Population of Study............................................................................................... 64 Sampling and Sample Size.................................................................................... 64 Instrumentation ..................................................................................................... 65 Validation of Instrument ....................................................................................... 67 Pilot-testing the Instrument................................................................................... 67 Training of Interviewers ....................................................................................... 68 Data Collection ..................................................................................................... 69 Data Management and Analysis ........................................................................... 69 Hypotheses Testing............................................................................................... 70 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Introduction........................................................................................................... 72 Demographic and Socio economic Characteristics of Farmers -.......................... 72 Sex......................................................................................................................... 72 Age........................................................................................................................ 73 Formal Education.................................................................................................. 74 Household size ...................................................................................................... 76 Farm Labour.......................................................................................................... 77 Land holding size.................................................................................................. 78 Years of Farming Experience ............................................................................... 79 Income level.......................................................................................................... 80 xi
  12. 12. Major crops grown................................................................................................ 81 Utilisation of cultivated crops............................................................................... 82 Access to credit ..................................................................................................... 84 Use of credit.......................................................................................................... 84 Reasons for not accessing credit ........................................................................... 85 Sources of credit ................................................................................................... 86 Sources of agricultural extension services............................................................ 87 Extension teaching methods experienced by farmers........................................... 88 Farmers’ Perceptions of the Level of Participation in SG 2000 Programme ....... 90 Farmers’ Perceptions of the Effectiveness of the Management Training Plot as used under SG 2000 Programme Approach.............................................. 92 Farmers’ Perceptions of the Level of Satisfaction with Technologies Disseminated under SG 2000 Programme................................................ 94 Farmers’ Perceptions of the Level of Adoption of Technologies Disseminated under SG 2000 Programme....................................................................... 95 Constraints to adoption of agricultural technologies disseminated under SG 2000 Programme................................................................................................ 96 Independent sampled t-test –comparison of means of level of participation, perception on management training plot effectiveness, level of satisfaction with technologies and level of technology adoption by districts.............. 98 Independent sampled t-test –comparison of means of perception on level of participation, perception on management training plot effectiveness, level xii
  13. 13. of satisfaction with technologies and level of technology adoption by sex of respondents ......................................................................................... 100 Relationship between overall effectiveness of SG 2000 Programme Approach to agricultural technology delivery and selected variables ......................... 102 Relationship between level of participation and farmers’ demographic and socio- economic characteristics ......................................................................... 105 Relationship between level of technology adoption and selected farmers’ demographic and socio-economic characteristics................................... 106 Predictors of the overall effectiveness of the SG 2000 Programme Approach to agricultural technology delivery ............................................................. 112 CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Introduction......................................................................................................... 114 Summary of Thesis ............................................................................................. 114 Conclusions......................................................................................................... 123 Recommendations............................................................................................... 126 Future Research Direction .................................................................................. 128 REFERENCES ................................................................................................... 130 APPENDIX I: FARMERS’ INTERVIEW SCHEDULE ................................... 145 xiii
  14. 14. LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1: Reliability Coefficients ..................................................................................... 68 2: Davis Conversion for correlations .................................................................... 71 3: Sex distribution of respondent-farmers in the study area ................................. 73 4: Age distribution of respondent-farmers in the study area................................. 73 5: Formal education level of respondent-farmers in the study area...................... 75 6: Household size distribution of respondent-farmers in the study area............... 76 7: Frequency distribution of farm labour sources as reported by farmers ............ 77 8: Frequency distribution of landholding size as reported by respondent-farmers ................................................................................................................... 78 9: Frequency distribution of years of farming experience as reported by respondent-farmers ................................................................................... 80 10: Frequency distribution of income levels of respondent- farmers ................... 81 11: Summary statistics of major crops grown as reported by respondent-farmers82 12: Utilization of major crops grown as reported by respondent-farmers ............ 83 13: Distribution of respondent-farmers who have ever accessed credit in the study area............................................................................................................ 85 14: Use of credit as reported by respondent-farmers ............................................ 85 15: Frequency distribution of respondent-farmers’ reasons for not accessing credit ................................................................................................................... 86 16: Sources of credit by respondent-farmers ........................................................ 86 xiv
  15. 15. 17: Respondent-farmers’ sources of agricultural extension services in the study area............................................................................................................ 87 18: Extension teaching methods as experienced by respondent-farmers in the study area .................................................................................................. 89 19: Respondent-farmers perceptions of level of participation in SG 2000 Programme................................................................................................ 91 20: Respondent-farmers perceptions of effectiveness of management training plot as used under SG 2000 Programme Approach ...................................... 93 21: Respondent-farmers’ perceptions on level of satisfaction with technologies disseminated under SG 2000 Programme.............................................. 94 22: Respondent-farmers’ perceptions of level of adoption of technologies disseminated under SG 2000 Programme.............................................. 95 23: Frequency distribution of the constraints to adoption of technologies disseminated under SG 2000 Programme as reported by farmers......... 97 24: An independent samples t-test analysis by selected district ........................... 99 25: An independent samples t-test analysis by sex of respondent-farmers ........ 101 26: Correlation matrix showing the relationship between overall effectiveness of the SG 2000 approach and related variables........................................ 104 27: Relationship between respondent-farmers’ level of participation in the programme and related selected demographic and socio-economic characteristics....................................................................................... 106 28: Relationship between level of technology adoption and selected respondent- farmers’ demographic and socio-economic characteristics. ................ 108 xv
  16. 16. 29: Regression coefficients ................................................................................. 112 xvi
  17. 17. LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1: Map of Malawi Showing Location of the Sampled Districts ........................... 19 2: Location of Focal Study Areas in the Districts Sampled.................................. 20 3: The Sustainable Development Extension Model.............................................. 32 4: A Conceptual Framework of the Perceived effectiveness of SG2000 Programme Approach to agricultural technology delivery....................... 60 xvii
  18. 18. CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Background to the Study Agriculture is the single most important sector of Malawi’s economy. Thus, the performance of the economy depends critically on the performance of the agricultural sector. The agricultural sector accounts for about 90 per cent of export earnings, provides 85 per cent of total employment and contributes about 39 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (FAO, 2005). Malawi’s development policy for the medium term continues to recognize the agricultural sector as the pillar of the economy, with priority centered on ensuring food security, increasing export earnings and providing of employment, incomes and livelihood for the population (GoM, 2006). For the agricultural sector to play this crucial role in the economy in a sustainable way, rapid growth in output and productivity within the sector is critical. It is widely recognized that the sustained flow of and utilization of improved technologies is the key to increased growth and productivity (Maunder, 1973; Swanson & Claar, 1984; Frank & Chamala, 1992). According to Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (GoM, 2000) agriculture occupies about 56 per cent of the total land area covering 5.3 million hectares of the country’s 9.4 million hectares. The agriculture sector is dualistic, 1
  19. 19. consisting of smallholder farmers and an estate sub-sector. The smallholder sub- sector is based on a customary land-tenure system and is primarily subsistence, providing the bulk of food production. The smallholder sub-sector occupies about 80 per cent while the estate sub-sector occupies the remaining 20 per cent of the agricultural land. Due to high population pressure on land, some 2.6 million smallholder farmers cultivate less than a hectare of land of which half cultivate less than 0.5 a hectare (GoM, 2000). Agriculture in Malawi is mainly rainfed, of single season with low input investment and low output. Moreover, it is vulnerable to changing climatic and policy conditions. Small farms, low yields and unpredictable policies result in chronic food shortages. Declining staple food production has moved Malawi from being a net exporter in the 1980s to being a net importer in recent years (GoM, 2007). Nationally, about 40 percent of the rural households are not able to produce enough food to meet the household food consumption needs. Sufficient food production remains an important condition for alleviating food insecurity in the country. Moreover the demand for food is likely to increase in the near future with ever-increasing population growth. Malawi’s population is estimated at around 12.5 million as compared to 8 million in 1987 representing an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent (GoM, 2007). This means that much of the increased food production will have to be realized on land that is already under cultivation. The availability of new land suitable for agriculture is limited. Therefore, agricultural production has to be intensified in diverse and risk prone rainfed areas. 2
  20. 20. The Agricultural Services Project (ASP) spearheaded the main agricultural technology development and dissemination efforts in Malawi in the late 1980s and 1990s (Esser, Øygard, Chibwana and Blakie (2005). Under this project farming systems methodologies were introduced with technical assistance from United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The extension efforts were based on the Block Extension System (BES), a modified form of the Training and Visit (T&V) system. The BES entailed the establishment of systematic message-based extension management system (MoAFS, 2000). Embodied in this approach was a regular training programme intended to improve the professional skills of staff and enhance their knowledge across disciplines. In addition the approach emphasized use of contact farmers for technology dissemination. But the hierarchical nature of technology development and dissemination made it very difficult to create a farmer responsive system. A more recent reorientation of agricultural extension emphasizes on a pluralistic, demand- driven and decentralized participatory extension approach (MoAFS, 2000). Small scale food producers in Malawi urgently need to improve total factor productivity which can raise output to meet the country’s food consumption needs. Existing low levels of productivity and low use of modern farming practices hinder efforts to achieve progress in this direction. Various efforts by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been made to raise agricultural productivity by helping farmers to reduce technical inefficiency and fostering the adoption of improved production technologies. A prominent example has been the Sasakawa Global 2000 (SG 2000) agricultural programme which featured a strong 3
  21. 21. extension component directed at the dissemination of improved technology to small scale producers and the improvement of farmers’ practices (Langyintuo, 2004). SG 2000 is a non-profit organization established to develop programmes for technology demonstration in various African countries in cooperation with national extension services (Dowswell and Russel, 1991). Since 1986, SG 2000 has helped African farmers to improve their livelihoods through better farming practices. It is an agricultural initiative of two non-governmental organizations namely; Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) and the Global 2000 Programme of the Carter Centre in the USA. The SG 2000 programme is based on the principle that “agricultural development cannot be achieved unless farmers have greater access to science-based knowledge and technology, namely, improved varieties, chemical fertilizers, and crop protection products, and improved crop management practices” (Dowswell and Russel, 1991). The main features of SG 2000 programme are as follows; • Close collaboration with partner country’s Ministry of Agriculture, • Direct farmer participation in technology transfer, and • Promotion of agricultural intensification with appropriate, financially viable technology (Nubukpo and Galiba, 1999). SG 2000 has adopted seven (7) important principles of best practice through its experiences. The working principles are that: • extension messages should be delivered to farmers as a package rather than as isolated individual interventions; 4
  22. 22. • focus should be on single enterprise (main staple crop) first then on the farming system; • improved production technology should demonstrably and significantly increase yield and productivity on the farm so that its monetary benefits to the farmers are measurable in farmers’ terms (bags); • demonstration plots should give farmers a first hand opportunity to test improved production technologies on a commercial scale in their own fields; • inputs required for adoption of improved technologies should be pitched at levels that are accessible through the private sector in rural areas, and • farmers’ participation in testing improved technologies should be based on their own conviction rather than on the promise of credit for inputs or coercion; and • farmers should therefore be encouraged to use their own resources for demonstrations from the outset (Breth, 1998). The SG 2000 Programme in Malawi was implemented in 1998 (SAA, 2006) and operated in partnership with the regional agricultural development divisions of MoAFS and the National Research Institute for Agriculture (NRIA). The focus of partnership was on disseminating improved maize production technologies to resource-deficit farmers. Activities of SG 2000 Programme in Malawi included: 5
  23. 23. • demonstration of on-shelf and ‘best bet’ maize production practices (timely planting, correct plant spacing, correct ridge spacing, timely harvesting, correct fertilizer application, use of improved maize varieties); • demonstration of conservation farming in maize production (use of pre- emergence and post emergence herbicides); and • demonstration of improved post-harvest practices that reduce grain losses (use of drying cribs and grain storage cribs) (Breth, 1998). It is clear that sustainable agricultural development is the key to the future for sub-Saharan African countries including Malawi. Throughout its years of operation in Malawi, SG 2000 has been able to demonstrate that, given access to available inputs and using them more efficiently with better farming practices, small-scale farmers can easily double or triple their yields of staple food crops. For example, farmers who have practiced conservation tillage as recommended by extension workers have profited from the practice through significant increases in yields obtained from 0.1 hectares mini plots (Ito, Matsumoto and Quinones, 2007). Statement of the Problem Achieving sustainable food security in Malawi requires that farmers continually adopt improved agricultural production technologies in order to realize yield potentials from a decreasing land resource base. An effective extension system is central to the dissemination of any improved technologies. Several NGOs have intervened in agricultural services delivery using diverse 6
  24. 24. approaches (Farrington, 1997). SG 2000 is one of the organizations that have worked actively to alleviate food security by demonstrating to farmers how yield potentials can be obtained by following recommended practices. Although some programme reviews have been conducted about SG 2000 Programme activities in Malawi, they focused specifically on SG2000 contributions to increased crop yields; the government’s commitment to taking up SG 2000 technology transfer activities; and recommendations for improving on- going country programme activities (SAA Report, 2001-2002; Plucknett, Matsumoto and Takase, 2002). After nine years of SG 2000 Programme interventions in Malawi (1998-2006), it is logical and important to conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of the SG 2000 Programme approach in agricultural technology transfer focusing primarily on the perceptions of the programme beneficiaries. This study was, therefore, an attempt to answer the following questions: • what was the extent of farmers’ participation in SG 2000 Programme activities? • how did participant-farmers perceive the effectiveness of the use of the management training plots as a method for technology transfer under SG 2000 Programme? • what are the reactions of farmers’ to the technological package disseminated under SG 2000 Programme? • what are farmers’ adoption levels of the technologies disseminated to-date under SG 2000 Programme? 7
  25. 25. • what were the major challenges and constraints preventing farmers from adopting the technological recommendations? and as a central question • how effective was the SG 2000 Programme approach to agricultural technology delivery? Objectives of the Study General Objective The primary objective of this study was to assess farmers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of Sasakawa Global 2000 Programme approach to agricultural technology delivery in Northern Malawi. Specific Objectives In order to achieve the above primary objective, the following specific objectives were formulated, to: 1) describe the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of participating farmers in terms of sex, age, formal education, household size, farm labour sources, land holding size, years of farming experience, level of income, major crops grown in the area, access to farm credit, sources of extension services and extension teaching methods. 2) examine farmers’ perceptions of their level of participation in the SG 2000 Programme activities, 3) examine farmers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the management training plot as a method for technology delivery in SG 2000 Programme, 8
  26. 26. 4) examine the degree of farmers’ satisfaction with the technological package disseminated under the SG 2000 Programme, 5) examine farmers’ adoption levels of the technologies disseminated under SG 2000 Programme 6) identify the constraints to non-adoption of technological recommendations under the SG 2000 Programme, and 7) 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. Research Hypotheses The following are the hypotheses that were tested in the research. Hypothesis 1 H0: There are no significant differences in farmers’ perceptions of level of participation, effectiveness of MTP, level of satisfaction and level of adoption between Rumphi and Chitipa districts H1: There are significant differences in farmers’ perceptions of level of participation, effectiveness of MTP, level of satisfaction and level of adoption between Rumphi and Chitipa districts 9
  27. 27. Hypothesis 2 H0: There are no significant differences in perceptions of level of participation, effectiveness of MTP, level of satisfaction and level of adoption between male and female participants H1: There are significant differences in perceptions of level of participation, effectiveness of MTP, level of satisfaction and level of adoption between male and female participants Hypothesis 3 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. Hypothesis 4 H0: There is no relationship between level of technology adoption by farmers and their demographic and socio-economic characteristics. H1: Level of technology adoption is significantly related to farmers’ demographic and socio-economic characteristics Hypothesis 5 H0: There is no relationship between technology adoption and the level of farmers’ participation in the SG 2000 Programme. 10
  28. 28. H1: Technology adoption is significantly related to the level of farmers’ participation in the SG 2000 Programme. Hypothesis 6 H0: There is no relationship between farmers’ perception of the effectiveness of SG2000 Programme approach to technology delivery and their level of participation. H1: Farmers’ perception of the effectiveness of SG2000 Programme approach to technology delivery is significantly related to their extent of participation. Hypothesis 7 H0: There is no significant relationship between farmers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of management training plot method to technology transfer and their level of participation in the SG 2000 Programme. H1: Farmers’ perception of the effectiveness of the management training plot method to technology delivery is significantly related to their level of participation in the programme. Variables in the Study • Perceived effectiveness of SG 2000 Programme approach to agricultural technology delivery. • Farmers’ socio-economic and demographic characteristics namely age, gender, level of formal education, household size, years of farming, level of income, farm labour, land holding size, access to extension services and access to credit. 11
  29. 29. • Level of farmers’ participation in the SG 2000 Programme activities • Farmers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the MTP as a method for technology transfer under SG 2000 Programme. • Farmers’ satisfaction with the technological package disseminated under SG 2000 Programme. • Farmers’ adoption levels of technologies disseminated under SG 2000 Programme. • Constraints to adoption of technological recommendations disseminated under SG 2000 Programme. Rationale for the Study Malawi faces the challenge of achieving self-sufficiency in food production and ensuring that there is adequate national food balance (GoM, 2007). One of the challenges in achieving self-sufficiency in food production hinges on raising the food productivity among smallholder farmers through the dissemination and adoption of modern technologies. 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. 12
  30. 30. 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 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. Since provision of farm inputs on credit was part of SG 2000 Programme approach, the findings could provide a basis for gauging how policy changes may affect farmers. Policy issues that constrain or enhance the provision of inputs on loan may have a direct effect on food productivity and technology adoption among smallholder farmers. The overall study rationale is to make a contribution to designing effective approaches to agricultural technology transfer so as to develop agriculture as a sector of crucial importance to the country’s over-arching goals of achieving poverty reduction and sustainable food security. Delimitations Sasakawa Global 2000 Programme was involved in the dissemination and promotion of post harvest technologies, maize and rice production technologies and minimum tillage practices. The study was narrowed to maize production technologies because this was the principal focus of SG 2000 Programme. In addition the study covered only two districts, namely, Chitipa, and Rumphi in the 13
  31. 31. Northern part of Malawi. The region was chosen because previous programme evaluations had covered the two other regions, namely, central and southern regions (Plucknett, et.al, 2002). The districts were selected because they are the major maize growing areas in the region; maize is a major staple in the districts; and because compared to other districts in the region a large number of farmers participated in the SG 2000 Programme. Definition of Key Terms The following terms have been defined to facilitate understanding of this work: Adoption: refers to the degree of use of a new technology in long run equilibrium when a farmer has full information about the new technology and its potential (Feder, Just and Zilberman, 1985). Approach: refers to the basic planning philosophy of agricultural extension programmes-a style of action within a system. “Agricultural extension strategies and functions can be initiated and /or organized on the basis of an instrumental (top-down) or an interactive mindset, that is, in a context that allows or does not allow for an interactive approach” (Leeuwis, 2003, p. 210). Effectiveness: refers to the degree to which goals are attained. In this study effectiveness will be operationalised in terms of extension approach, level of farmers’ participation in programme activities, farmers’ opinions about extension methods used (in this case the Management Training Plots), farmers’ reactions to the technological package, level of farmers’ adoption of technological recommendations promoted, (Misra, 1997) 14
  32. 32. Perception: as used in the study, refers to a mental set, attitude or a conceptual direction of an individual or group of individuals about an issue (Van den Ban & Hawkins, 1996). Rate of Adoption: refers to the relative speed with which an innovation is adopted by members of the social system. It is measured as the number of individuals who adopt a new idea in a specified period (Feder, et al, 1985). Level of adoption: refers to the intensity of adoption of a given technology. It is usually measured as the number of technologies being adopted and the number of producers adopting them (Feder et. al., 1985). Literacy: a literate person is one who can, with understanding, both read and write a short simple statement on his or her everyday life (UNESCO, 2004). In the case of Malawi a person is literate if he or she can read and write in English or any other language (GoM, 2005) Technology transfer: refers to a process in which an innovation originating in one institution or system is adapted for use in another institution or system (Rogers, 1983). Description of Study Area Country Profile Malawi is a landlocked developing country in southeastern Africa, bordered by Tanzania to the north and north-east, Mozambique on the south, south-east; and Zambia on the west. The country is 900 km long and 80-161km 15
  33. 33. wide with a total land area of 118,484km2, twenty (20) per cent of which is covered by water. Maize is the major staple food crop for most of Malawian families, with cassava being preferred in parts of central and northern areas. Plantains are the main staple in a small area of the northern region and rice is important crop cultivated in the lakeshore and wetland areas. Sorghum, and finger millet are secondary staples, with sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes and cassava being considered as ‘snacks’, although planted areas and production have been increasing significantly over recent years (FAO, 2005). Main export crops include tobacco, tea, coffee, sugarcane, cotton and macadamia nuts and high quality rice. Imported crops include maize, wheat and rice. Malawi’s climate is sub-tropical with a rainy season starting from November to April and a dry season from May to October. Sampled Districts Malawi is divided into three geopolitical regions, namely, southern, central and northern regions. The regions are further subdivided into administrative districts. The northern region consists of six administrative districts. In terms of agricultural administration, the region is divided into two agricultural development divisions (ADDs), namely Mzuzu ADD and Karonga ADD. Each ADD is comprised of District Agricultural Development Offices which are further subdivided into Extension Planning Areas (EPAs). SG2000 Programme partnered with the ADDs in her agricultural development efforts. The 16
  34. 34. SG2000 Programme operated in four (4) of the six districts in the region. The study covered Chitipa and Rumphi districts. Chitipa district falls under Karonga ADD and Rumphi falls under Mzuzu ADD. The principal reason for the choice of the two districts is that they are the major maize growing areas in the region, a crop whose technologies were promoted by SG2000. Another reason is that the districts have larger number of farmers that benefited from the project to allow the researcher to draw an adequate sample in order to obtain credible results that would allow drawing some generalisable conclusions. Chitipa District: A Brief Profile Chitipa district lies to the northern tip of Malawi and is bordered by Tanzania to the north, Zambia to the west, and Karonga and Rumphi districts in the east and south respectively. The district has a total population of 157 872. The district has a literacy level of 77.1 per cent. About 21.7 per cent of the population has attained at least secondary education, 59.6 per cent primary education and 18.8 per cent have never attained any formal education. Average annual income per capita in the district is estimated at US$230. About 14.8 per cent of the population has access to credit (GoM, 2005). Major food and cash crops are maize and tobacco respectively. Other crops cultivated include millet, cassava, sweet potatoes and coffee. 17
  35. 35. Rumphi District: A Brief Profile Rumphi district is bordered by Zambia to the west, and Karonga, Chitipa and Mzimba districts in the north-east, north-west and south respectively. The district has a total population of 149 486. The district has a literacy level of 89.3 per cent. The district has the highest literacy rate in the country. About 31.4 per cent of the population has attained secondary education and above, 60.7 per cent primary education and 7.9 per cent have never attained any formal education. Average annual income per capita in the district is estimated at US$330. However, only 13.4 per cent of the population does have access to credit (GoM, 2005). Maize is major food crop grown in the district. In terms of cash crop cultivation, a good percentage of farmers rely on tobacco. Other crops grown include cassava, sweet potatoes, and coffee. 18
  36. 36. Figure 1: Map of Malawi Showing Location of the Sampled Districts 19
  37. 37. Figure 2: Location of Focal Study Areas in the Districts Sampled. NYIKA NATIONAL PARK 20
  38. 38. CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction This chapter reviews existing literature on the meaning of agricultural extension, and its significance. It discusses four agricultural extension models used in agricultural development namely, technology transfer, farmer first, participatory, and the sustainable development extension models. Literature review also covers agricultural extension in Malawi, the SG 2000 Programme and agricultural development efforts in Malawi, extension communication methods, farmer participation in extension programmes, adoption and diffusion of innovations, determinants of technology adoption and adoption of maize production technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Agricultural extension: Meaning and its significance Many definitions of agricultural extension emphasise its educational dimension. Extension as defined by Maunder (1973 p. 3) refers to “a service or system which assists farm people, through educational procedures, in improving farming methods and techniques, increasing production efficiency and income, bettering their standards of living, and lifting social and educational standards.” Swanson and Claar (1984 p. 1) described extension as “an on-going process of 21
  39. 39. getting useful information to people and then assisting those people to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to utilize effectively this information and technology.” These two preceding definitions are referred to as enlightenment definitions of extension. During the 1980s it was recognized that extension could not just be regarded as ‘help’ and ‘being’ in the interest of the recipient (Leeuwis, 2003). It was realized that extension is in many ways an intervention that is undertaken and/or paid for by a party who wants to influence people in a particular manner, in line with certain policy objectives. In line with such views new definitions of extension emerged. Extension has thus been viewed as ‘helping behaviour consisting of the transfer of information, with the explicit intention of changing mentality and behaviour in a direction that has been formulated in a wider policy context” (Leeuwis, 2003: p. 25). Goals lead the actions of individuals, groups, and organizations. While pointing towards a future state, they are influenced if not determined by past experiences (Nagel, 1997). They reflect the interests of their stakeholders and differ, therefore, according to specific life situations, power positions, and development philosophies. According to Nagel (1997), the prominent features of a system, such as its organizational structure, the choice of clientele, its operational design, and the methods used, are directly influenced by its set of goals. Members of rural communities, extension and other development personnel, researchers, and staff of commercial or public service and support organizations constitute the main actors/stakeholders within an extension system. 22
  40. 40. Empirical evidence shows a variety of forms in which interaction among these groups is institutionalized. The variety of forms suggests a similar variety of goals, and either could be used to classify extension approaches. In practice, however, one finds an almost inseparable mixture of goals inhibiting a clear-cut classification. Nagel (1997 p. 13) further argues that “it seems more appropriate to use a broader category in goal classification, namely, selectivity with regard to clientele, and treat the respective goals as a continuum.” Thus, the two end points of this continuum would be marked as technology transfer and human resource development, suggesting either a rather narrow technical or a broader socioeconomic view of development. Studies have revealed that effective investment in agricultural extension contributes directly to national wealth through increased agricultural production and enhanced national food security. It is thus recommended that extension be placed in the wider system of rural development to achieve a balance in both social and economic development in rural areas (Swanson, Farner and Bajal, 1990 ). To ensure broad-based agricultural development it is essential that extension addresses the needs of all groups of farmers. To achieve this, as noted by Swanson et al, (1990 p. 24) “a more balanced approach to extension is required that addresses the needs of productive commercial and small subsistence farmers.” Extension as one of the major inputs in agricultural development has two goals namely, economic and social goals. The main focus of economic goals of extension is on raising production and productivity (Garforth and Harford (1995). On the other hand, Garforth and Harford (1995) prefer that social goals focus on 23
  41. 41. food security; improving equity in access to, and security of the means of production (including information, advice and inputs); poverty alleviation, and improved nutrition. However, a conflicting role for extension depends on whether it is seen as a mechanism to target social goals or economic goals. From a social policy perspective, it is recommended that extension addresses the needs of the poorer segment of the rural population (Garforth and Harford, 1995). However, for those emphasizing economic goals, they would prefer other policy tools (Garforth and Harford, 1995). Agricultural Extension in Malawi: An Overview The importance of agricultural extension as a means for technology transfer is widely acknowledged, particularly in developing countries where the majority of the population lives and agriculture is the main source of livelihood. Agricultural extension work in Malawi began in colonial times as a result of estates requiring higher agricultural productivity (GoM, 2000). The concept of Master Farmers was incorporated into the mainstream of extension activities during the later years of colonial rule. These Master Farmers who were better off and innovative, received government support in terms of inputs and extension services. They followed recommended practices and therefore acted as demonstrations to other farmers. The rationale for this approach was that such ‘demonstrations’ farmers could induce spread effects or externalities in having their neighbours emulating them. However, Mhone (1987, p. 59) noted “that during the colonial period the approach was roundly criticized 24
  42. 42. by nationalists since it was inequitable, particularly in that such farmers were actually subsidized through taxation of their poorer neighbours.” An agricultural cooperative was instituted in 1948 in order to enhance increased agricultural production. At that time the cooperatives were involved in input supply, commercial crop production, dairy farming and marketing. Throughout these stages, the predominant extension approach involved individual contact and coercion (GoM, 2000). Up until 1962 this was considered appropriate for the time. The importance of group approach was recognized in the 1970s as a faster way of spreading messages to a wider farming community during a period when major integrated projects were being introduced. In trying to enhance the group approach, the Block System, a modified Training and Visit System, was adopted in 1981 with the aim of improving farmer contact. The group approach then went beyond specialized groups and tried to contact a wider range of farmers, including the resource-poor and women. However, it was observed that the majority of resource-poor farmers were not reached with extension messages because of the Block Extension System’s top-down approach and consequently the adoption rate did not improve (GoM, 2000). SG 2000 and Agriculture Development in Malawi Rapid population growth in Malawi has put tremendous pressure on the agricultural sector to increase food production for domestic consumption and to be more competitive on the international commodity markets. One of the factors needed to “attain more rapid broad-based agricultural growth and rural 25
  43. 43. development” is the “strengthening of the institutional base for smallholder agriculture (Staatz and Eicher, 1990, p. 28). As a part of that base agricultural extension has the potential to be an important factor in increasing agriculture and livestock productivity and rural incomes, as well as reducing hunger in Malawi by providing a wide variety of services to rural families. In the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy policy document (GoM, 2006), developing agriculture and raising smallholder productivity have been recognized as major drives for growth and improved food security in the country. Therefore, as part of agricultural development, agri-business involves the development, dissemination and use of modern agricultural technology packages. The argument for extension, public or private, is that it provides information as input to the production process like seed or fertilizer. As Toulmin (1985) states, “even when a new technology has been developed, its successful adoption by farmers is not assured, since this will depend critically on the structure of input and output prices and on the adequacy of the extension system through which the supply of essential inputs can reach the producer” (p. 2-3). Also it is assumed that extension will hasten the benefits of adoption of new practices or technologies which lead to improved production. In the same vein, Pretty (1995) observes that even if technologies are productive and sustainable if they are imposed on farmers, then they will not be adopted widely. SG 2000 Programme Approach is predicated on the assumptions that a pool of technology appropriate for the country is available that could have a significant impact, that citizens are poor, that the country is food insecure, and 26
  44. 44. that the government is committed to agricultural development. On that basis the SG 2000 insists on working through government agencies rather than setting up a parallel organization outside government (Breth, 1998). SG 2000 exemplifies the importance of NGO-government partnership in development discourse. It expects its programme efforts to be mainstreamed into government programmes once it phases out. Agricultural Extension Models: A Comparative Overview Four basic models of agricultural extension are widely discussed in literature: technology transfer, farmer first and participatory models (Frank and Chamala, 1992; Chambers, Pacey and Thrupp, 1989). Greer and Greer (1996) propose a fourth model of agricultural extension namely, the sustainable development extension model. The first model considers top-down technology transfer from researchers to farmers through the extension agents. The farmer first approach, considers the importance of the role of farmers in research and extension from the bottom- up (Chambers, et al., 1989). The third model is a participatory approach which in some ways integrates and extends the first two models. The participatory approach relies on the involvement of researchers and farmers, as well as other stakeholders in the extension process. The fourth model is the sustainable extension model which is designed to ensure that agricultural information and the systems that support its generation and dissemination are responsive to the needs of those involved in decision making (Allen, Kilvington, Nixon and Yeabsley, 27
  45. 45. 2002). While these models are by definition idealized abstractions of reality, they provide guidance on the development and use of more specific extension techniques. The Technology Transfer Model This model is a top-down approach to technology transfer. The starting point is from the scientific institutions, where scientific experiments are done by the scientists. The research priorities are also determined by the scientists according to this approach. Scientists generate new innovations which they believe are good for farmers and then pass them to extension agents. The extension agents then transmit information about the innovation to the individual farmers and explain the likely benefits in order to encourage them to adopt the innovation (Chambers, et al., 1989). In many cases farmers do not adopt the new innovations as rapidly as anticipated and for many reasons. The scientists often concentrate on a product or a process which may not fulfill a genuine need for the farmers. For example some innovations which are not suitable to the farmers in the field seem to be suitable in the laboratories. Poor infrastructure and lack of capital for promotion of the innovation also represent constraint to widespread adoption (Frank and Chamala, 1992). In other cases there is a successful transfer of technology, but subsequent problems with the use of the technology might emerge. To date there has been a necessary and dramatic change in extension thinking; from “technology transfer” to demand-driven approaches that empower farmers through building on their knowledge. The technology transfer model is 28
  46. 46. associated with governments’ objectives of immediate food production, where according to Swanson et al. (1990), pursuing an extension system that is narrowly focused on technology transfer risks promoting growth without equity. In the long-term, through failing to recognize the needs of all farmers, the consequences may be a small proportion of very productive commercial farmers, whilst the vast majority of rural people are left behind at the subsistence level. Farmer First Model The farmer first model contrasts strongly with the technology transfer model. It acknowledges that farmers often have sound local knowledge and good reasons for their behaviour, which may not be understood by scientists (Chambers, et al, 1989; Frank and Chamala, 1992). Farmer experience with experimentation and evaluation provides a basis on which scientists can learn from and with farmers to set research priorities. The main objective of the farmer first approach is to empower farmers to learn and create better situations for themselves rather than being passive recipients of new technology. Researchers do not drive the research, development and extension process; they interact with and assist farmers. The process is “bottom-up” with emphasis on bringing about changes that farmers want. All the field work related to research is done in the farmers’ fields. The outcome of the research process is usually a basket of choices from which to select, rather than a package of practices to be adopted. In this way farmers are encouraged to make wise and informed decisions based on their own situation (Chambers et. al., 29
  47. 47. 1989). The outcomes of this approach are that the decisions farmers will take may not be associated with government policy. The farmers’ selection of the new technology may also limit the marketing of other technologies. An important limitation of the farmer first approach is that significant off- farm, structural forces, which inevitably shape farmer priorities and decision- making, can be overlooked. For instance, private sector infrastructure for the marketing of a new technology can have a significant influence on on-farm IPM, as can changes in relevant government regulations or consumer demand. Participatory Model Recently many researchers, extension officers and farmers have recognized the need for a cooperative, participatory approach to examine interacting sets of issues. Using this approach, an ill-defined agricultural problem situation is viewed as a complex human activity system (Wilson, 1992). The participatory approach views research, development and the extension process as cyclic and interactive, and involving a wide range of key stakeholders. It emphasises the involvement of key stakeholders in a cooperative and flexible process to facilitate the implementation of specific innovations by primary producers. Several types of workshop/ appraisal techniques could be used, ranging from rapid rural appraisal, participatory rural appraisal, focus groups, and structured workshops (Chamala and Mortiss, 1990). The common features of these approaches are qualitative data gathering, active participation of those having an interest in the research outcomes, and responsiveness to decision- 30
  48. 48. makers both on and off the farm. Fliegel (1993) points out that the participatory approach applies particularly to packages of technologies rather than single innovations. Sustainable development extension model Sustainable development extension is about engaging all stakeholders in the process of learning and adaptive management and about negotiating how to move forward in a complex world (Allen, et al., 2002). Within the sustainable development extension model (Figure 3) there are tools and processes that develop the capacity of players in the information system, and the users of information, to make meaning of it, constructive debate is of great value and contributes to the process development (Allen, et al., 2002). These two complementary parts are very important for sustainable development extension model; the process is shown by Greer and Greer (1996) who propose an interdependency approach to extension. They argue that this model provides for involving stakeholders in defining their needs and setting the goals of the extension programme. The outcomes of this collaborative stakeholder process, provides direction for the development of outputs in the form of research, management strategies and other forms of technology. Once the outputs have been achieved, the objectives of extension programmers are defined and these are then put into the wider community, often through the more traditional processes of extension such as talks, field days etc., which then eventually lead to some level of implementation. 31
  49. 49. Extension Communication Methods According to Venkatesan and Kampen (1998), an extension method is a means of motivating farmers to adopt a recommended technology. Tools and techniques are Users Extension Researchers agents Interaction Definition of users’ technology and other information needs Relevant outputs sought from researchers and other agencies Definition of objectives of extension Implementation of programmes with users Figure 3: The Sustainable Development Extension Model Source: Greer and Greer (1996) 32
  50. 50. particular ways of operating a method (Leeuwis, 2003). The purpose of extension work is to awaken the desire for technical, economic and social change and teach practical and managerial skills. All extension is based on group discussion, practical demonstration and participation. Extension methods are often classified in terms of the target audience (Adams,1982) namely: • group methods: these are aimed at particular reference groups and involve face to face contact between extension workers and farmers, for instance, result and method demonstrations; • individual methods: these are aimed at individual farmers who receive the undivided attention of the extension worker, for example, farm visits and farm surveys; and • mass methods: these are aimed at the general farming community with no personal contact between the extension worker and the audience, for example, pamphlets, exhibits or radio broadcast. A Comparison of Individual and Group Methods Studies of agricultural development are increasingly showing that when people who are already well organized or are encouraged to form groups, and whose knowledge is sought and incorporated during planning and implementation, are more likely to continue activities after project completion (Cernea, Coulter, Russel, 1983). If people have responsibility, feel ownership and are committed, then there is likely to be sustained change. A study 4-10 years 33
  51. 51. after the completion of twenty-five (25) World Bank financed agricultural projects found that continued success associated clearly with local institution building (Cernea, et al., 1983). Twelve (48%) of the projects achieved long-term sustainability and it was these that local institutions were strong. In the others, the rates of return had all declined markedly, contrary to expectations at the time of project completion. This clearly indicated that projects were not sustainable where there had been no attention to institutional development. Adams (1982) noted that the choice of method should be commensurate with involvement of farmers in the learning process. He further recommended that whenever possible “training should be by discussion, practical demonstration and participation, not by teaching methods borrowed from the classrooms of the formal system” (Adams, 1982 p. 29). Therefore, the extension worker should aim to obtain the maximum involvement of the farmers. The impact of the demonstration is greater when it is conducted by farmers themselves. According to Venkatesan and Kampen (1998), subsidized demonstration as a tool for disseminating technologies has been practiced widely by governments both in Asia and Africa. However, they have doubted the efficacy of such demonstrations arguing that farmers often know that the farmers selected for such demonstrations are generally the better-off farmers and are not therefore convinced that the recommendations are appropriate for them. In addition, Venkatesan and Kampen (1998) have argued that even if the demonstrations are held on the farms of resource poor farmers, those factors which are the primary causes of their not adopting the recommended technology namely, the cost of inputs and their 34
  52. 52. accessibility, are neutralized by the free or subsidized provision of inputs. Without the subsidy on inputs the resource poor farmers are not likely to adopt the demonstrated technologies and practices (Venkatesan, and Kampen, 1998). On the contrary the SG 2000 Programme felt that the size of miniplots adopted under the Training and Visit system were too small to have a demonstrative effect on farmers. As a result they would prefer a much larger plot and would neutralize the risk which farmers take in trying out a new technology by subsidizing the cost of inputs (Venkatesan, and Kampen, 1998). Farmer Participation in Extension Programmes Definition of Participation As defined by the World Bank (1996), participation is a process through which stakeholders influence and share control over development initiatives and the decisions and resources which affect them. Stakeholders may include farmers themselves, project staff, donors and others. Types and Levels of Participation There are no commonly agreed upon indicators of participation for measuring successful participation, because of the difficulty in assigning indicators to processes and impacts (Vedeld, 2001). A more realistic approach, for instance in an Indian context, is the instrumental view of participation which perceives participation as a means of achieving certain goals, such as improving the quality, effectiveness and sustainability of projects (Vedeld, 2001). 35
  53. 53. Widely used typologies and classifications of forms and levels of participation according to Pretty (1994) are based on three dimensions : the distribution of (a) information input and (b) decision making authority between participants and interventionists in relation to (c) different key functions in development planning, such as situation analysis, problem identification, goal setting and implementation. Other authors (Paul, 1986; Biggs, 1989) also use the level of involvement in decision-making as a basis for classifying different types and degrees of participation. With regard to information input and decision- making authority, the levels typically include, in ascending order: a) Receiving information: participants are informed/told what a project will do after it has been decided by others. b) Passive information giving: participants can respond to questions and issues that interventionists deem relevant for making decisions about projects. c) Consultation: participants are asked about their views and opinions openly and without restrictions, but the interventionists unilaterally decide what they will do with the information. d) Collaboration: participants are partners in a project and jointly decide about issues with project staff. e) Self-mobilisation: participants initiate, work on and decide on projects independently, with interventionists in a supportive role. In its true meaning genuine participation of people is non-directive and does not impose ideas on them; it is based on a dialogical process, it is educational and 36
  54. 54. empowering; starts from what people know and from where they are; is based on resources mobilized by them; relies on their collective effort; promotes self reliance but acknowledges the partnership among individuals and their change agent as co-learners (Burkey, 1993; Oakley and Marsden, 1985). Therefore, contrary to the general practice in rural development, people’s participation is not limited to farmers attending meetings or contributing their labour to the implementation of projects designed by officials. Genuine participation also entails the active involvement of people in the planning process and is enhanced by their interaction with experts through educational methods that increase the influence farmers can exert upon the programme planning process. Benefits of Participation An evaluation by World Bank (1996) found that putting responsibility in the hands of farmers to determine agricultural extension programmes can make services more responsive to local conditions, more accountable, more effective and more sustainable. For example, farmer participation is essential in introducing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which requires farmers to invest effort and resources in techniques that are knowledge intensive. According to World Bank (1996) report, in Indonesia on-farm trials with substantial farmer involvement have proved the best means to ascertain and demonstrate the potential benefits of IPM. 37
  55. 55. The opportunities for improving technologies to improve farmer incomes are expanded through participation, farmer-centred approaches to extension, which encourage a holistic perspective shifting focus of attention from simple production to the whole farming system. When farmers are made influential and responsible clients rather than passive beneficiaries of the extension services, sustainability both of the benefits of investment in the technology and of the service itself may substantially be improved (World Bank, 1996). Participatory methods have the capacity to increase farmer ownership of the technologies promoted by extension management, especially when the methods are developed, at least in part by the clients themselves and are based on technologies that they have seen to be effective. At the same time when the value of the service is clear to them, farmers are willing to contribute to its support, reducing dependence on project funds for meeting recurrent costs (World Bank, 1996). Costs of Participation A higher level of training and skills is needed if extension staff are to collaborate effectively with farmers, applying technical knowledge to site-specific socio-economic and agronomic conditions, rather than delivering pre-packaged messages. Extension agents also need training in participatory methods of working with farmers (World Bank, 1996). Some of these additional costs can be offset by reductions in the number of staff needed, as farmers themselves take on more responsibilities, and the economies of “distance” methods are more fully exploited. Additional time and resources are also needed to redefine and establish 38
  56. 56. the institutional framework for participation- for example, to decentralize fiscal and administrative functions, to build collaborative partnerships, and to strengthen the capacity of NGOs and farmer organizations. The costs of participation to farmers can be substantial, particularly in terms of their time. Where participatory programmes depend on significant contributions of cash and/or labour from farmers, steps have to be taken to ensure that this does not exclude the poor from sharing in the benefits. Key Elements in Promoting Participation The World Bank (1996) has identified three key elements in promoting participation in agricultural extension programmes namely, stakeholder commitment, institutional framework, and a two-way communication. Stakeholder commitment: broad consultation from the outset is needed to ensure sufficient commitment to change on the part of all stakeholders. Farmers themselves may be skeptical of calls to contribute time, effort, or cash if their experience of extension in the past has been negative. The institutional framework: there is no one institutional model for delivering participatory extension services. Some countries, such as Chile and Costa Rica are using the private sector to carry out what was traditionally a public sector activity; some are decentralizing and reorienting public sector agencies; and some are working through NGOs and farmer organizations (World Bank, 1996). A multi- institutional approach is common, recognizing that farmers get information from several different sources, and that some organizations are more effective in 39
  57. 57. reaching certain categories of farmers. Defining and facilitating operational linkages at an early stage is crucial. This can be approached through stakeholder workshops during project preparation, to discuss possible forms of partnerships and the allocation of responsibilities for implementation and support. Other key issues include: instituting incentives and mechanisms for accountability to farmers on the part of extensionists; identifying where legal and regulatory changes are needed; training staff in participatory methods; building the capacity of local farmers groups; and ensuring that local level institutions do not exclude some groups of farmers from participation. Two-way communication: In adopting a learning process approach, the function of extension is not merely one of technology transfer but of ensuring effective two-way flows of information with the aim of empowering farmers through knowledge rather than issuing technical prescriptions. Adoption and Diffusion of Innovations Stages in the Adoption Process Adoption studies indicate that adoption of innovations is not something that happens overnight, but rather it is the final step in the sequence of stages. Ideas vary about the precise number, nature and sequence of the stages through which farmers progresses. However, the most widely used characterization of stages in connection with the adoption of innovations derives from Rogers (1983). The model builds heavily on normative theories about decision-making models and consists of the following stages: awareness of the existence of a new 40
  58. 58. innovation, developing interest in the innovation, evaluation of the innovation’s advantages and disadvantages, trial (testing innovations/ behaviour changes on small scale), and adoption/ acceptance of the innovations. An important practical conclusion relating to the stimulation of adoption is that people require and search for different kinds of information during each stage. The information requirements evolve from: “information clarifying the existence of tensions and problems addressed by the innovation or policy measure, information about the availability of promising solutions, information about relative advantages and disadvantages of alternative solutions, feedback information from one’s own or other people’s practical experiences, and information reinforcing the adoption decision made” (Leeuwis, 2003 p. 130). In addition, people use different sources of information in connection with different stages of adoption. In countries with a well developed mass media system, farmers usually become aware of innovations through such media. In later stages they tend to prefer interpersonal contact with somebody in whose competence and motivation they have confidence. This person may be a change agent, but for most farmers exchanges of experiences with fellow farmers are more important. In regions where there are few agricultural extension media, demonstrations often play an important role in the early stages. Dasgupta’s overview of 300 studies in India (Dasgupta, 1989) shows that change agents are mainly influential during the early stages of the adoption process. 41
  59. 59. Adopter Categories and their Characteristics An important finding from adoption research was that innovations are not adopted by everyone at the same time. Particular innovations are used quickly by some and only taken up later by others, while some never adopt them. More importantly, adoption research suggests that there is a pattern in the rate at which people adopt innovations, meaning that some usually adopt early, while others adopt late. Such conclusions were arrived at through the analysis of adoption indices which were used as a measure for innovativeness, defined as ‘the degree to which an individual is relatively earlier than comparable others in adopting innovations’ (Rogers, 1983, p. 22). An adoption index was usually calculated by asking people whether, at a given time, they had adopted any of 10 to 15 innovations recommended by the local extension service. Individuals would receive a point for each one adopted. On the basis of their score, adoption researchers have typically classified people into five differently categories namely; innovators (2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34.0%), late majority (34.0%), and laggards (16%). Determinants of Adoption A variety of studies are aimed at establishing factors underlying adoption of various technologies. As such, there is an extensive body of literature on the economic theory of technology adoption. Several factors have been found to affect adoption. These include government policies, technological change, market forces, environmental 42
  60. 60. concerns, demographic factors, institutional factors and delivery mechanisms. Some studies classify the above factors into broad categories: farmer characteristics, farm structure, institutional characteristics and managerial structure (McNamara, Wetzstein and Douce, 1991) while others classify them under social, economic and physical categories (Kebede, Gunjal and Coffin 1990). Others group the factors into human capital, production, policy and natural resource characteristics (Wu and Babcock, 1998) or simply whether they are continuous or discrete (Shakya and Flinn, 1985). By stating that agricultural practices are not adopted in a social and economic vacuum, Nowak (1987) brought in yet another category of classification. He categorizes factors influencing adoption as informational, economic and ecological. There is no clear distinction between elements within each category. Actually, some factors can be correctly placed in either category. For instance, experience as a factor in adoption is categorized under ‘farmer characteristics’ (McNamara, Wetzstein and Douce, 1991; Tjornhom, 1995) or under ‘social factors’ (Kebede, Gunjal and Coffin 1990; Abadi-Ghadim and Pannell, 1999) or under ‘human capital characteristics’. Perhaps it is not necessary to try and make clear-cut distinctions between different categories of adoption factors. Besides, categorization usually is done to suit the current technology being investigated, the location, and the researcher’s preference, or even to suit client needs. However, as some might argue, categorization may be necessary in regard to policy implementation. Extensive work on agricultural adoption in developing countries was pioneered by Feder, Just and Zilberman, (1985). Since then the 43
  61. 61. amount of literature on this subject has expanded tremendously. Because of this extensive literature, the following section provides a review of selected factors as they relate to agricultural technology adoption. Economic Factors Farm Size Much empirical adoption literature focuses on farm size as the first and probably the most important determinant. Farm size is frequently analyzed in many adoption studies (Shakya and Flinn, 1985; Green and Ng'ong'ola, 1993; Adesina and Baidu-Forson, 1995; Nkonya, Schroeder and Norman 1997; Fernandez-Cornejo, 1998; Boahene, Snijders and Folmer, 1999; Doss and Morris, 2001; and Daku, 2002). This is perhaps because farm size can affect and in turn be affected by the other factors influencing adoption. In fact, some technologies are termed ‘scale-dependant’ because of the great importance of farm size in their adoption. The effect of farm size has been variously found to be positive (McNamara, Wetzstein, and Douce, 1991; Abara and Singh, 1993; Feder, Just and Zilberman, 1985; Fernandez- Cornejo, 1996, Kasenge, 1998), negative (Yaron, Dinar and Voet, 1992) or even neutral to adoption (Mugisa-Mutetikka, Opio, Ugen, Tukamuhabwa, Kayiwa, Niringiye and E. Kikoba, 2000). Farm size affects adoption costs, risk perceptions, human capital, credit constraints, labor requirements, tenure arrangements and more. With small farms, it has been argued that large fixed costs become a constraint to technology adoption (Abara 44
  62. 62. and Singh, 1993) especially if the technology requires a substantial amount of initial set-up cost, so-called “lumpy technology.” In relation to lumpy technology, Feder, Just and Zilberman, (1985) further noted that only larger farms will adopt these innovations. With some technologies, the speed of adoption is different for small- and large- scale farmers. In Kenya, for example, a recent study (Gabre- Madhin and Haggblade, 2001) found that large commercial farmers adopted new high-yielding maize varieties more rapidly than smallholders. Furthermore, access to funds (say, through a bank loan) is expected to increase the probability of adoption. Yet to be eligible for a loan, the size of operation of the borrower is crucial. Farmers operating larger farms tend to have greater financial resources and chances of receiving credit are higher than those of smaller farms. A counter argument on the effect of farm size can be found in Yaron, Dinar and Voet, (1992) who demonstrate that a small land area may provide an incentive to adopt a technology especially in the case of an input-intensive innovation such as a labor-intensive or land-saving technology. In that study, the availability of land for agricultural production was low, consequently most agricultural farms were small. Hence, adoption of land-saving technologies seemed to be the only alternative to increased agricultural production. Further, in the study by Fernandez-Cornejo (1996), farm size did not positively influence adoption. The majority of the studies mentioned above consider total farm size and not crop acreage on which the new technology is practiced. While total farm size has an effect on overall adoption, considering the 45
  63. 63. crop acreage with the new technology may be a superior measure to predict the rate and extent of adoption of technology (Lowenberg-DeBoer, 2000). Therefore in regard to farm size, technology adoption may best be explained by measuring the proportion of total land area suitable to the new technology. Cost of Technology The decision to adopt is often an investment decision. And as Caswell, Fuglie, Ingram, Jans and Kascak. (2001) note, this decision presents a shift in farmers’ investment options. Therefore adoption can be expected to be dependent on cost of a technology and on whether farmers possess the required resources. Technologies that are capital-intensive are only affordable by wealthier farmers and hence the adoption of such technologies is limited to larger farmers who have the wealth (Khanna, 2001). In addition, changes that cost little are adopted more quickly than those requiring large expenditures, hence both extent and rate of adoption may be dependent on the cost of a technology. Economic theory suggests that a reduction in price of a good or service can result in more of it being demanded. Level of Expected benefits Programs that produce significant gains can motivate people to participate more fully in them. In fact, people do not participate unless they believe it is in their best interest to do so. Farmers must see an advantage or expect to obtain greater utility in adopting a technology. In addition, farmers must perceive that 46
  64. 64. there is a problem that warrants an alternative action to be taken. Without a significant difference in outcomes between two options, and in the returns from alternative and conventional practices, it is less likely that farmers, especially small-scale farmers will adopt the new practice (Abara and Singh, 1993). A higher percentage of total household income coming from the farm through increased yield tends to correlate positively with adoption of new technologies (McNamara, Wetzstein, and Douce, 1991; Fernandez-Cornejo, 1996). Off-farm hours The availability of time is an important factor affecting technology adoption. It can influence adoption in either a negative or positive manner. Practices that heavily draw on farmer’s leisure time may inhibit adoption (Mugisa-Mutetikka et al., 2000). However, practices that leave time for other sources of income accumulation may promote adoption. In such cases, as well as in general, income from off-farm labor may provide financial resources required to adopt the new technology. Social Factors Age of Adopter Age is another factor thought to affect adoption. Age is said to be a primary latent characteristic in adoption decisions. However there is contention on the direction of the effect of age on adoption. Age was found to positively influence adoption of sorghum in Burkina Faso (Adesina and Baidu-Forson, 47
  65. 65. 1995), and IPM on peanuts in Georgia (McNamara, Wetzstein, and Douce, 1991). The effect is thought to stem from accumulated knowledge and experience of farming systems obtained from years of observation and experimenting with various technologies. In addition, since adoption pay-offs occur over a long period of time, while costs occur in the earlier phases, age (time) of the farmer can have a profound effect on technology adoption. However age has also been found to be either negatively correlated with adoption, or not significant in farmers’ adoption decisions. In studies on adoption of land conservation practices in Niger (Baidu-Forson, 1999), rice in Guinea (Adesina and Baidu-Forson, 1995), fertilizer in Malawi (Green and Ng'ong'ola, 1993), Hybrid Cocoa in Ghana (Boahene, Snijders and Folmer, 1999), age was either not significant or was negatively related to adoption. Older farmers, perhaps because of investing several years in a particular practice, may not want to jeopardize it by trying out a completely new method. In addition, farmers’ perception that technology development and the subsequent benefits, require a lot of time to realize, can reduce their interest in the new technology because of farmers’ advanced age, and the possibility of not living long enough to enjoy it (Caswell et al., 2001; Khanna, 2001). Furthermore, elderly farmers often have different goals other than income maximization, in which case, they will not be expected to adopt an income –enhancing technology. As a matter of fact, it is expected that the old that do adopt a technology do so at a slow pace because of their tendency to adapt less swiftly to a new phenomenon (Tjornhom, 1995). 48

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