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Farmers' Choice: Evaluating an approach to agricultural technology adoption in Tanzania

by Helene Bie Lilleør & Ulrik Lund-Sørensen Practical Action Publishing
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Pbk 168 pages
AU$54.99 NZ$57.38
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Food security is an urgent international priority. However, agricultural extension methods that relied on imposing centrally-developed technological solutions have been ineffective, since small farmers in developing countries often cultivate marginal lands, working under constraints for which these solutions were not designed. Since 2006, a flexible agricultural extension approach has been implemented in Northern Tanzania, inspired by the Farmer Field School approach, and offering farmers a basket of technology options from which farmers can pick and choose what serves their needs and resources best. The focus is on extending improved low-cost farming techniques adaptable to local conditions in a pragmatic and flexible process. The interventions are locally known as RIPAT,have received financial and technical support from the Rockwool Foundation. Farmers Choice outlines the RIPAT intervention, and examines how effective it has been.This evaluation should be read by all those interested in improving the food security and incomes of poor farmers in the Global South: agricultural scientists, anthropologists, staff of NGOs, researchers and students of development studies.

Prelims (Figures, tables, boxes and photo credits, About the authors, Preface, MAP of the RIPAT project areas)1. IntroductionHelene Bie Lilleør and Ulrik Lund-SørensenPART ONE: RIPAT IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION DESIGN2. Presentation of RIPAT Core Components and project implementation Catherine W. Maguzu, Dominick Ringo and Jens Vesterager3. Evaluation methodsSteffen Jöhncke and Ulrik Lund-SørensenPART TWO: EVALUATION STUDIES4. The Context for RIPAT taking regional history and development policy into account in the interpretation of project processes and successQuentin Gausset, Steffen Jöhncke, Eva Kaas Pedersen and Michael Whyte5. The impact of RIPAT on Food Security and Poverty Anna Folke Larsen and Helene Bie Lilleør6. Evaluation of the RIPAT Concept Charles Aben, Deborah Duveskog and Esbern Friis Hansen7. Household Dynamics and Gender Politics: Female Farmers in RIPAT 1 Hanne Mogensen and Eva Kaas Pedersen8. The RIPAT groupsHelene Bie Lilleør and Eva Kaas Pedersen9. Local adoption of social and agricultural technologies Quentin Gausset10. Social constraints on the adoption of improved bananas in Arumeru DistrictQuentin Gausset and Anna Folke Larsen11. RIPAT, RECODA and Government Institutions Charles Aben, Deborah Duveskog and Esbern Friis Hansen12. Summary and concluding remarksHelene Bie Lilleør and Ulrik Lund-SørensenBack Matter (Glossary, Annexes, References)

An innovative contribution for evaluating one of the most critical and strategic issues for smallholder agricultural development in Tanzania.Professor Kjell Havnevik, Nordic Africa Institute, UppsalaA paradigm example of how comprehensive use of methods enriches our understanding of small-scale farmers and enables us to see how they can generate change and secure food production.Associate Professor Liv Haram, Department of Social Anthropology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Helene Bie Lilleør is the Head of Evaluation, Rockwool Foundation Research Unit and has years of experience from work in developing countries, including Tanzania. Ulrik Lund-Sørensen is the Evaluation Coordinator at Rockwool Foundation Research Unit and has years of experience from work in developing countries, including Tanzania.