Case study 2: Farmer trainers in Uganda

Cassava roots. Credit, H.Tufan, International Programs.

Cassava roots. Credit, H.Tufan, International Programs.

Cassava production was revitalised in Uganda through the introduction of 6 disease resistant varieties, produced using techniques such as conventional breeding and hybridisation with local varieties to be resistant to cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and brown streak virus, with support from the Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund (MATF), local government and donors. MATF trained farmers to become trainers themselves whilst providing the new trainers with technical backup throughout the process. From each group of farmers, 1 contact farmer (CF) and 1 extension link farmer (ELF) were trained. These 2 farmers would then grow demonstration plots of cassava that were also used for multiplication and distribution of cassava to the other farmers.

The project led to increased knowledge amongst farmers on improved production methods, including soil and water conservation. Farmers reported that they had come to know each other better and their relationships became more reciprocal, suggesting the project helped to build ‎build social capital. Furthermore, CFs and ELFs provided a platform for other NGOs to disseminate information on a range of subjects such as HIV/AIDS, gender equality, and conservation. Women in particular reaped financial benefits through the sale of cassava, and 43% of new adopters during a 1-year extension phase were women. The resulting increase in income was invested in other household needs, such as school fees for their children and poultry projects.[1]

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