Assessment of efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of farmer-to-farmer extension approach at mogabiri farm extension centre (MFEC), Tarime District- Mara Region, Tanzania
Sokoine University of Agriculture.
One of the several extension approaches used by NGOs in agricultural extension in Tanzania is farmer-to-farmer extension approach. This is the approach in which farmers are the primary extension agents and professionals only facilitate their work. Using project villages in Mogabiri Farm Extension Centre as study area, the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of farmer to-farmer-extension approach was studied. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on a randomly and purposively selected sample size of 75 respondents. Three types of questionnaires were developed and administered to 60 farmers, 10 FAMOs and 5 WEOs working in the project villages. The results of the study revealed that in one month period, FAMOs visited 88.3% of respondents interviewed for 1 to 5 days. Similarly, in three months period, 80% of FAMOs attended over 75% of project farmers using various extension tools. This implies that farmer-to-farmer extension approach is efficient in terms of supervision frequency and coverage. However, FAMOs were incompetent in solving some of the farmers' problems particularly control of common animal and crop diseases, pregnancy diagnosis and dystocia. Results further revealed that project farmers who adopted recommended practices realised a substantial increase in milk, coffee and cereal yields. The observed increase in yields substantiate the effectiveness of farmer- to-farmer extension services. Implementation of improved practices, growth of farmers group members and elements of cost sharing in farmer-to-farmer extension approach at MFEC show that this approach will sustain after the termination of the project. Based on the findings of the study, it is recommended that FAMOs should be given appropriate and adequate training suitable in solving common problems encountered by farmers in the project areas. It is also recommended that short and long term solutions to the lack of reliable market for milk and coffee should be considered. Furthermore, it is recommended that in order to come up with sustainable extension approach, strategies should be designed to ensure that challenges like replacement of old extension facilities, shortage of working facilities and lack of incentives to FAMOs have permanent solutions.
farmer extension, mogabiri farm, extension centre, Tarime District, Agricultural extension, Farmer-to-farmer extension