Browsing by Author "Kabwe, Gillian"
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Results Per Page
- ItemDissemination pathways for agroforestry technologies : the case for improved fallows in Eastern Zambia(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2001-12) Kabwe, Gillian; Grundy, Isla; Mafongoya, Paramu; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Forest and Wood Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Agroforestry researchers in Eastern Zambia have identified improved fallows as an intervention for soil fertility problems faced by small-scale farmers. In both on-station and on-farm research experiments which have been conducted since 1989, results have shown that improved fallows can mitigate soil degradation and eventually improve land productivity. Both researchers and extensionists have since embarked on disseminating these fallows to the farming community. Researchers were initially entirely dependent on the conventional agricultural extension services to disseminate the technology to the farmers but the process was slow and so was the uptake for the technology by farmers. As researchers were anxious to see that farmers took up improved fallows in a fastest possible way, they opted to use alternative dissemination pathways such as farmer trainers and local leaders. The purpose of this study was to investigate the three dissemination pathways and determine their effectiveness as regards improved fallows. This study assumed that farmers were not taking up improved fallows because they lacked knowledge of it, and also that the lack of knowledge was exacerbated by the ineffective pathway used to reach the farmers. The study was conducted in Chadiza, Chipata and Katete districts of Eastern Zambia. Data were collected using questionnaires in 28 villages across the three districts. Included in the sample were 296 small-scale farmers for whom this technology is intended. Additionally, 51 farmer trainers, 15 local leaders and 14 agricultural extension officers were interviewed as disseminators of this technology. Farmers were randomly sampled; local leaders were systematically sampled while a total enumeration was done for farmer trainers and agricultural extension officers present at the time of the interviews. This study found that 92% of the farmers were aware of the technology, with 68% having only known about it between 1998 and early 2000. This was the period when farmer trainers were already working. Farmer trainers were source of initial information to 41% of the farmers and yet they only started working recently. Although 92% of the farmers had heard about improved fallows, only 33% had ever planted some. Ten percent cf the entire population of farmers could be said to have adopted improved fallows because they have planted more than one fallow. Lack of knowledge is therefore not the only reason that farmers were not taking up improved fallows. Farmer trainers were found to currently be a more effective dissemination pathway as they were able to reach more farmers even in areas where agricultural extension officers had not been before. Local leaders have not been involved with disseminating improved fallows. Agricultural extension officers were hampered by lack of resources but were still trying to assist farmers with resource assistance from external institutions such as NGOs. The findings point to a need for participatory extension approaches as well as participatory monitoring and evaluation systems.