Farmer-to-farmer extension in Cameroon: a survey of extension organizations uri icon

abstract

  • Despite the c entral role that farmers play as agricultural producers in developing countries, they ar e often inadequately served by research , extension and advisory services. E xtension approaches such as the farmer - to - farmer extension (F2F) approach were developed t o improve service to farmers , but l ittle is known about how this approach is being used in Cameroon. This paper examines the experiences of organizations using the F2F extension approach. Specifically , the study characterize s and assess es F2F extension approaches in Cameroon to determine which practices are most effective in different circumstances. A semi - structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 24 selected organizations in seven regions of the country . The F2F extension approach in Cameroon is used by farmer organizations as well as national and international non - profit organizations . Neither governmental services nor private sector companies use this approach. Th ose organizations using F2F extension had on average five f ield staff (FS) , and mainly targeted f armer groups . Fi fty - eight percent of organizations interviewed had one wom a n or no women among their field staff . Though r espondent s stated that their organizations were using many different extension approaches , in addition to the F2F approach , 41 percent identified F2F as the most effective method. The main sources of technical information for FS were personal reading , information exchanged during seminars and workshops, staff member s รข?? own experience s and research i nstitutes. Field staff were in charge of capacity development and follow - up of lead farmers (LFs). O n the basis of mutually agreed upon criteria, LFs were usually selected jointly by FS and the community. According to the organizations interviewed , individual FS were working with 17 LFs on average , and th e latter w ere training approximately four groups, each with about 43 members, in addition to 48 individual farmers outside of these group s . These LFs were considered an extension of FS in their commu nities and usually offered their services on a voluntary basis

publication date

  • 2014