The benefits of
rural resource centres and
farmer-to-farmer extension;
experiences from Cameroon
Ann Degrande, Lea Eboutou...
Why ICRAF invests in research on extension approaches?
Staggering Production &
Poor Livelihoods
Low adoption of agricultur...
Why involve Community-Based
organisations in agricultural extension?
• Not all extension
services need to be
organised or ...
Sources of information on agroforestry
40
35

% of respondents

30

project village

25

witness village

20
15

10
5
0

S...
Agroforestry innovations' dissemination
ICRAF-WCA has been
experimenting with
the concept of rural
resource centres for
th...
The
concept of
Rural
Resource
Centres

6
Differences with the classical
agricultural extension approach
More scope for joint
research, adaptation, training, sh
ari...
Infrastructure

Tree nursery

training hall and
offices

Small library
Agroforestry demonstration plots
Activities

Learning from each other during study
visits
Exchanging planting material
between resource centres

Experiment...
Location RRCs in Cameroon
Cost/Benefit Analysis of RRC:
example from
APADER, Bangangte – West
Cameroon
Millions

40
35
30

FCFA

25
20
15

operational costs

10

Initial investment

5
0

Millions

Analysis of the benefits of
...
Millions

25
20
15

Net Benefits

FCFA

10
5

Benefits (not taking
investment into account)

-5

Benefits (not taking
inve...
Implications for financing RRC
• RRC can generate revenues of up to 5 – 10 million FCFA
(7500 – 15,000 €) per year
• Howev...
Role of RRCs: farmers’ perspectives
Men: Train/Inform/Sensitise &
produce planting material
Women: Accompany/Backstop

Adu...
Efficiency criteria: farmers’ perspectives
Youths:
• Practical training/innovativeness
• Competency

Women:
• Regular foll...
Farmers’ satisfaction about RRCs
> 50% of respondents
satisfied with:
Information
Training
Technical backstopping

Other m...
Adoption of agroforestry

especially for the more recently
introduced practices:
• tree propagation,
• integration of impr...
Rating of RRC approach by farmers
compared to other extension approaches
Complementarity with other
extension approaches
A...
Sum up Rural Resource Centres
Overall, RRCs are successfully diffusing agroforestry innovations to
farmer groups, because:...
FARMER-TO-FARMER (F2F)
EXTENSION
21
Importance of F2F extension in Cameroon
government agricultural extension in Cameroon
(2009 FAO data)

• Total economic ac...
Who is lead farmer?
Different names used in F2F
extension

Criteria to select lead farmers
Hard working/role…
Good…

Local...
What are LF
doing?
1. Train farmers
2. Conduct follow-up visits
3. Mobilise communities for
meetings and
demonstrations
4....
Motivation of lead farmers
Main reasons to BECOME
a lead farmer

Main reasons to REMAIN
a lead farmer

According to
organi...
Advantages of F2F extension approach
Overall performance appreciation : 7.5/10
90
80

% of responses

70
60
50
40
30
20

I...
Sum up F2F extension
• Lead farmers do a wonderful job, but their role is not
sufficiently known/recognised/supported
• Ma...
With thanks !
For more information: a.degrande@cgiar.org
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The benefits of rural resource centres and farmer-to-farmer extension; experiences from Cameroon

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Ann Degrande, Lea Eboutou and Sygnola Tsafack

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The benefits of rural resource centres and farmer-to-farmer extension; experiences from Cameroon

  1. 1. The benefits of rural resource centres and farmer-to-farmer extension; experiences from Cameroon Ann Degrande, Lea Eboutou and Sygnola Tsafack
  2. 2. Why ICRAF invests in research on extension approaches? Staggering Production & Poor Livelihoods Low adoption of agricultural innovations Ineffective dissemination methods Innovative and low cost ways of disseminating agricultural innovations Particularly true for : @ Complex @ Knowledge intensive @ Long term benefits
  3. 3. Why involve Community-Based organisations in agricultural extension? • Not all extension services need to be organised or executed by government agencies  DECENTRALISATION  INSTITUTIONAL PLURALISM  EMPOWERMENT  PARTICIPATORY APPROACHES • Not all aspects of extension are pure public goods PRIVATISATION FEE-FOR-SERVICE PUBLIC PROVISION Public sector finance essential in countries with many subsistence farmers
  4. 4. Sources of information on agroforestry 40 35 % of respondents 30 project village 25 witness village 20 15 10 5 0 Source of agroforestry information Source: Degrande et al., 2013. Adoption Survey Community-Based Organisations are main source of information on agroforestry
  5. 5. Agroforestry innovations' dissemination ICRAF-WCA has been experimenting with the concept of rural resource centres for the dissemination of agroforestry innovations for the last 7 years in Cameroon, DRC and Nigeria Agroforestry innovations - Tree improvement & integration in agricultural landscape - Soil fertility management with shrubs and trees - Strategies for marketing of AFTPs
  6. 6. The concept of Rural Resource Centres 6
  7. 7. Differences with the classical agricultural extension approach More scope for joint research, adaptation, training, sh aring and diffusion of good practices and technologies Efforts to be selfsustaining Gradual development Better partnership between research, civil society organisations and farmers More flexibility in activities, room for testing and adaptation
  8. 8. Infrastructure Tree nursery training hall and offices Small library Agroforestry demonstration plots
  9. 9. Activities Learning from each other during study visits Exchanging planting material between resource centres Experimenting together with farmers vegetative propagation techniques on species prioritised by communities
  10. 10. Location RRCs in Cameroon
  11. 11. Cost/Benefit Analysis of RRC: example from APADER, Bangangte – West Cameroon
  12. 12. Millions 40 35 30 FCFA 25 20 15 operational costs 10 Initial investment 5 0 Millions Analysis of the benefits of the RRC over 10 years shows increases in income from service provision and sales of products as from 2011, which suggests an increased production capacity and skills thanks to better infrastructure and trained staff COSTS FCFA year Analysis of the costs of the RRC over 10 years shows major investments in 2010, 2011 and 2012, the years in which their training hall was finalised and lodging facilities were built; operational costs have remained more or less the same over the years 25 20 15 Gifts and subventions 10 service provision 5 sales of products 0 year BENEFITS Source: Mefo, 2011. Viabilité des CR au Cameroun 12
  13. 13. Millions 25 20 15 Net Benefits FCFA 10 5 Benefits (not taking investment into account) -5 Benefits (not taking investment into account and without gifts and subventions) -10 -15 -20 year NET BENEFITS Calculation of the net benefits (income – costs) of the RRC over a 10 year period shows: - Gradual increase in benefits from 2004 to 2012; ! these benefits were calculated not taking investments into account - Same positive trend in benefits, but slightly lower, is obtained when income in the form of gifts (e.g. development aid), grants and subventions (e.g. motorbike) is removed - Negative net benefits in the first 3 years, an increase from 2006 to 2008, and very negative balance of 7/16 million FCFA in 2010/11 because of major investments, followed by a positive balance again in 2012 13
  14. 14. Implications for financing RRC • RRC can generate revenues of up to 5 – 10 million FCFA (7500 – 15,000 €) per year • However, the set-up of a RRC requires major investments upfront, which need an external source of capital that cannot be recovered before 10 years • So far, the income of RRC comes from – 1/3 the sales of products (seedlings, medicinal plants, honey, processing of food stuff, etc.), – 1/3 from service provision and – 1/3 from gifts and subventions. Improved production capacity, skills, visibility and credibility can help increase their income 14
  15. 15. Role of RRCs: farmers’ perspectives Men: Train/Inform/Sensitise & produce planting material Women: Accompany/Backstop Adults: Train/Inform/Sensitise Youths: Accompany/Backstop 60 50 50 40 30 20 Men 10 Proportion of respondents (%) Proportion of respondents (%) 60 40 30 20 Adults 10 Youths Women 0 - Roles of RRC Roles of RRC 15
  16. 16. Efficiency criteria: farmers’ perspectives Youths: • Practical training/innovativeness • Competency Women: • Regular follow-up • Competency 35 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 Men 0 Women Efficiency criteria Proportion of respondents (%) Proportion of respondents (%) 40 30 25 20 15 10 5 Adults 0 Youths Efficiency criteria 16
  17. 17. Farmers’ satisfaction about RRCs > 50% of respondents satisfied with: Information Training Technical backstopping Other material supply services provided by RRCs seedling supply Seed supply Information Technical backstopping Training 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Proportion of satisfied respondents (%) 17
  18. 18. Adoption of agroforestry especially for the more recently introduced practices: • tree propagation, • integration of improved plants • post-harvest and marketing of AFTPs 45 40 % of households practicing The proportion of households practising different agroforestry techniques is higher in villages served by RRCs than in witness villages, 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 Project villages 0 witness villages Agroforestry Practices Source: Degrande et al. (2013) Adoption Survey 18
  19. 19. Rating of RRC approach by farmers compared to other extension approaches Complementarity with other extension approaches Accountability sustainability As efficient More efficient cost-effectiveness Much more efficient Allowing women and youths to acces benefits Increased flux of information and material 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
  20. 20. Sum up Rural Resource Centres Overall, RRCs are successfully diffusing agroforestry innovations to farmer groups, because: • increased relevance of techniques • Better quality of services rendered to the beneficiaries (relatively high level of satisfied farmers) • relatively high number of women and youths reached, often overlooked in ‘traditional’ extension systems • Better linkages and networking with other stakeholders Performance is dependent on presence of qualified staff and infrastructure, therefore: • Need support for initial investments • Need partnerships for continuous training of staff • Need ‘clients’ (individuals, projects, NGOs, government) to whom they can sell their services, in order to retain staff and upgrade
  21. 21. FARMER-TO-FARMER (F2F) EXTENSION 21
  22. 22. Importance of F2F extension in Cameroon government agricultural extension in Cameroon (2009 FAO data) • Total economic active population in agriculture: 3,568,000 • Government extension staff: 1651 1 extension worker for 2161 farmers Farmer-to-farmer extension (study done by ICRAF in 2013) • 47 organisations involved with F2F extension in 7 regions – – – – – 60% national/local NGOs 24% int’l NGOs 16% FO 0% GO 0 % private sector • 388 lead farmers/farmer trainers; 1/3 women 1 LF for: ± 4 groups/communities; training and advising ± 48 farmers => 50% weekly visits
  23. 23. Who is lead farmer? Different names used in F2F extension Criteria to select lead farmers Hard working/role… Good… Local animator, f acilitator, t echnician, Resource person 24% Good communicator Lead Farmer 32% Availability Able to read and… Interested Capacity to learn Contact farmer 4% Locally based trainer, far mer trainer 28% Resident farmer Model Farmer 8% Village Based Program Promoter 4% Past… Educated 0 5 10 15 Number of organisations 20
  24. 24. What are LF doing? 1. Train farmers 2. Conduct follow-up visits 3. Mobilise communities for meetings and demonstrations 4. Provide technical advise What support are LF getting? • Training – Initial training – In-service training – External learning opportunities • Extension material: brochures, posters, leaflets, … • Inputs for demonstration: seeds, fertilisers, nursery material, … • Transport (29%) and communication (37%) • Reimbursement of expenses incurred to attend meetings and trainings organised by organisations
  25. 25. Motivation of lead farmers Main reasons to BECOME a lead farmer Main reasons to REMAIN a lead farmer According to organisations According to lead farmers According to organisations According to lead farmers 1. Altruism 1. Early access to new technology 1. Altruism 2. Job benefits 2. Income generating potential 1. Income generating potential 2. Job benefits 2. Job benefits 3. Early access to new technology 3. Early access to new technology 3. Income generating potential 3. Altruism
  26. 26. Advantages of F2F extension approach Overall performance appreciation : 7.5/10 90 80 % of responses 70 60 50 40 30 20 Institutional perspective 10 Lead farmer perspective 0 Advantages of F2F approach
  27. 27. Sum up F2F extension • Lead farmers do a wonderful job, but their role is not sufficiently known/recognised/supported • Major challenges: – – – – Selecting lead farmers Motivating lead farmers (financial and non-financial incentives) Technical and logistical support to lead farmers Approach is not institutionalised/harmonised; very few organisations have written guidelines on their F2F extension approach – Record keeping and monitoring and evaluation of F2F – Identifying farmers’ training needs and designing appropriate training modules and material for lead farmers to use – Creating synergies with other agricultural advisory services and notably with government extension services
  28. 28. With thanks ! For more information: a.degrande@cgiar.org

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