Networks seaafsre

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Networks seaafsre

  1. 1. Networks for enhancing for innovation development: The case of Southern and Eastern African Association of Farming Systems Research and Extension Maxwell Mudhara President-elect SEAAFSRE
  2. 2. Introduction Smallholder farmers constitute the majority of the producers in Sub-Saharan Africa and face a unique set of conditions. • The conditions that obtain in smallholder farming areas are behind the failure of the Green Revolution to succeed • The conditions include unfavorable a climate, high degree of production risks, heterogeneous production environments, complex production systems, scarce production resources and poorly developed markets • The failure of the smallholder farmers to realize meaningful improvements in their productivity has meant that sub- Saharan Africa has remained threatened with food insecurity and poverty.
  3. 3. Introduction • The shortcomings in the conventional approaches used for developing and disseminating technologies have been blamed for the failure to increase productivity of smallholder farmers. • The farming systems approach to technology development and transfer was introduced in response to the low level of adoption of new agricultural technologies and practices by the smallholder resource poor families. • The majority of these technologies and the accompanying approaches were inappropriate and sometimes incompatible with the smallholder farming systems and the socio-economic circumstances of the recipient farmers.
  4. 4. The Farming Systems Approach to Research and Extension Seeks to: • To improve the well-being of farm families by increasing the production and productivity of the farm and farmers’ resources. • To support the farm household to achieve a range of private and social goals within the constraints and opportunities. It is conditioned by the natural, biological, socio- economic, technical, and human elements, which determine the existing smallholder farming system.
  5. 5. Principles of FSR-E • The principles of FSR-E are to: • Provide an approach for understanding the farmers’ constraints and challenges, and how they deal with them. • Enhancing farmer participation in technology development and transfer. • Views agriculture in a wider context to include natural resources and other crosscutting issues such as access to markets, and value chains
  6. 6. Southern and Eastern African Association of Farming Systems Research and Extension • SEAAFSRE is a network of persons willing to contribute, exchange and disseminate information on FSR-E in the sub-region with a view to increasing the productivity and welfare of the rural population. • Its members are registered as individuals • A space where anyone, located anywhere, but involved in an aspect of FSR-E and is interested in promoting in Southern and Eastern Africa, may become a member. • SEAAFSRE is registered as a professional association in Swaziland and is a constituent member of the International Farming Systems Association (IFSA).
  7. 7. SEAAFSRE aims are: • Accelerate agricultural and rural development promoting the development of knowledge and expertise in the field of FSR-E for development. • Promote exchange and dissemination of FSR-E information • Introducing and sharing appropriate technological innovations, and the development of supportive policies, institutions and infrastructure to promote the adoption of such innovations. • Development of national strategies and facilitation of the institutionalization of the FSR-E procedures and training within the region. • Link with the FSR-E practitioners and other related initiatives in other parts of the world.
  8. 8. Policy Implications • The farming systems research and extension approach has since been adopted at policy level by most countries in the region. • Its implementation has been adapted to suit different structures and circumstances in the respective countries. • The efforts of the association has been to build a community of practice that allows advancement of the emerging approaches and also for the sharing of the same.
  9. 9. Conclusion • The FSR-E approach is ideal for dealing with the multi- faceted and interlinked problems and challenges that face smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. • Many researchers in the region have benefited from training in FSR-E which helped to improve the skills and raise the profile of the approach in the region. • The region now has expertise and human capital that could benefit other regions. The existence of the network was key to this achievement. •

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