Comparing the processes used for assessing farmers’ demand for research and advisory services.

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E. W. Draa
A. R Semana
B. Adolph


The public extension system in Uganda is currently undergoing a transition towards a demand-driven one, with private sector involvement in service delivery, and in the future possibly funding as well. There is a concern that poor farmers' needs are not sufficiently addressed by NAADS, because (1) they are not adequately represented in farmer groups and fora, (2) even if represented, they do not influence priority setting, and (3) the need identification criteria indirectly discriminates against the poor. The NAADS approach is dynamic and lessons are still being learnt which might be relevant for NAADS. A study carried out in eight villages (four sub-counties) in Arua and Tororo districts analysed the demand assessment procedures used by NAADS and emerging farmer demands for advisory services for inclusion of the poor, participation, transperancy, alignment of farmers' criteria with NAADS criteria, and extent to which cross-cutting issues are addressed. Wealth grouping was used to stratify village households along villager-defined wealth groups. Initial findings show that in the two districts participation in NAADS groups is skewed towards the better-off households. Reasons for this appear to be (1) membership fees from one to five thousand shillings per household, which are difficult to mobilize by the poor, and (2) insufficient information about NAADS and doubts about benefits among poor households. Extension link farmers and cadre of farmers facilitator facilitated group level enterprise selection; NGOs facilitated at parish level. Some farmers did not understand the procedures and criteria used for selection, limiting their participation. The terms of reference for advisory services developed by the technical teams emphasised commodities, rather than cross-cutting issues such as gender, soil fertility and markets that equally affect productivity. The differences between NAADS criteria and those used by NARO is leading to a dichotomy of farmer needs, as identified by the two agencies.

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W. Draa, E., R Semana, A., & Adolph, B. (2004). Comparing the processes used for assessing farmers’ demand for research and advisory services. Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 9(1), 89–102. Retrieved from