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Farmer to Farmer Technology Transfer

Friday, April 8, 2011

Why do farmers sometimes accept a new technology during the implementation of a development project and then dispense with it after the project is completed.  This has happened often in the history of "development". How does one prevent this problem from occurring.

Debela Dinka of SLUFF Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Vetiver Network has the following answer:

If people are not convinced prior to introducing a new technology, it is absolutely sure that they will devastate it after a project or program is phased out. Our experience in Ethiopia is that we first introduced vetiver (for soil and water conservation) through training and skill development. Then we prepare experience sharing or exchange visits to places where vetiver is successfully used. Then after everybody gets motivated and a positive sense of competition is created. This approach is called FARMER-TO-FARMER extension and it is very effective.

From my long time experience of working with rural farmers, I found this apporach very effective because it solves problems disseminating a technology within a short time compared to long time nagging of Development Agents!

Farmer-to-Farmer extension has certainly been very effective in Ethiopia with regard to vetiver - Ethiopia can boast the the most widespread on farm vetiver applications in the world.


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