Personalities and the performance of lead farmers: a case of projects applying the rural initiatives for participatory agricultural transformation approach, Tanzania

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Tanzania Journal of Development Studies


Voluntary adoption and expanding use of lead farmers (LFs) under the farmer-to-farmer extension (F2FE) approach by organizations, in the absence of any direct external promotion, confirms its effectiveness in responding to extension delivery. needs. Although the F2FE approach has been used by many organizations and projects in Africa, there have been few studies—and limited promotion—using this approach when compared to the farmer field school (FFS) approach. This paper explores the needed personalities fit for LFs’ career, and the way they can be improved. Using a cross-sectional research design, a sample of 384 farmers was selected through systematic sampling from a population of 1800 project beneficiaries whose list was obtained from the RIPAT project managers. Primary data were analysed using the SPSS app, whereby variables related to personalities fit for LFs in leadership and facilitation skills were analysed using cross-tabulation. Checklists were used in collecting qualitative data through FGDs and KIIs, and were analysed through content analysis. The results show that the most needed personalities and associated soft skills to LFs include integrity (58.6%), being courageous (54.3%) and volunteerism (37.2%). The contribution of personalities to the performance of LFs includes helping them to become role models, increasing their reliability in the community, and enabling them in bringing group harmony. It was learned that the improvement of LFs’ personalities can be achieved through setting goals for developing good relationship with others and practical training, which entails mentorship and coaching. It is concluded that the needed personalities and associated soft skills of LFs are related to leadership and facilitation skills. Therefore, it is recommended that these personality traits be considered in complementing the hard skills of LFs when it comes to F2FE.


Journal article


Lead farmers, Performance, Personalities, RIPAT


Ringo, D. E & Urassa, J. K.