Rapid development for Kenya's small farms
Mbugua, Erastus S.
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The proposed research aims at developing more efficient replicable extension strategies for income generating innovations. The basic concept, theoretically founded, is to change the target groups for the extension service. Traditionally most progressive farmers are being approached to become first adopters of an innovation. The large majority of farmers (less progressives) is reached by a very slow diffusion process only and often the diffusion process completely leaves out a major part of the farmers. If less progressives (below average) are approached to become the first adopters, the diffusion process from them to the top progressives is very quick and the diffusion process among the target group itself is quicker and reaches more. This is founded on communication - and social stratification factors. The practical problem, however, seems to be the greater difficulty in making less, progressives first adopters. This problem could be solved by an appropriate package extension method already successfully tested in the "Tetu Project”. The only major problem with "Tetu", the very limited number of farmers which can be reached by this extension method, could be solved by taking the training out of the FTCs to the field and by approaching the farmers in groups. Summing up, the research therefore aims at: a) further testing of the new strategy, b) developing and evaluating methods of approaching farmers in groups, c) improving the replicability of the more efficient extension strategies and methods, and d) promoting their replication.