Volunteer Farmer Trainers Support Improving Farming Practices in Uganda

In: Policy Briefs
Year published
Authors
Kugonza J ,  
Franzel S | Karuhanga M , Kiptot E , Kirui J W , Wabwire R , Lutakome P , Kristjanson P M
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Volunteer Farmer Trainers Support Improving Farming Practices in Uganda

Abstract: 

Producing and selling milk in Uganda provides a great opportunity for a regular income and a healthy family diet. It is not an easy business though. There is much to learn about keeping your dairy cows healthy and productive. A relatively low cost approach to teaching many farmers about good dairying and other farming practices, using Volunteer Farmer Trainers (VFTs) was studied in 11 districts in Uganda. The researchers explored how well 190 VFTs did in learning about improved dairy practices, and then sharing their new knowledge, information and materials with fellow farmers. They examined the methods the VFTs used to reach other farmers, the extent to which they were reaching female as well as male farmers, and what specific dairy technologies and information they were sharing. Is training VFTs an effective strategy and investment in increasing the productivity of smallholders? The assessment suggests that it has good synergies with, and adds value to, existing agricultural extension services. It also shows that there are low-cost ways of improving the VFT approach that could make it more sustainable in the long run without donor support