Piloting an adaptive research process to address farmer’s information gaps

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B. Pound
B. Adolph
J. Manzi


The project “Linking demand and supply of agricultural information” is piloting an adaptive research process in Tororo and Arua Districts that broadens research to include information such as economic benefits, risk assessment, labour considerations, input availability and markets. Four multi-institutional teams are involved. These address local priorities identified through NAADS. The process assesses available information against a check-list and farmer information demands, and addresses gaps through research with farmer groups. Comprehensive, user-friendly extension materials are then produced, incorporating the technical and socio-economic information required by extension service providers and farmers. Pigeon-pea pest management and marketing, and the uses and benefits of draught animal power, and have no information on new varieties, botanical pesticides, marketing or location-specific agronomic practices. Information gaps include: efficacy of botanicals, economics of new varieties, international and local markets, soil management, storage methods and how to set up Producer Associations. A factorial trial with farmer groups, comparing botanical with inorganic pesticides, and a market investigation, have been initiated. For drought Animal power, information gaps include costs of DAP planting and weeding compared to human labour, local suitability of implements, mechanisms for group sharing of draught animals and implements, implement procurement costs and channels, training of animals and farmers, and impact of DAP on labour markets. To address these, two activities are underway: a) participatory on-farm trials to test DAP planters and the weeders; b) workshops with farmer groups to discuss sharing implements and draught animals. The work demonstrates many gaps in information available to service providers and farmers, and how these can be tackled. The process described can be applied across contrasting types of technology and ecological conditions. However, it requires rigour in its application, and resources for coordination, field supervision and documentation.

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How to Cite
Pound, B., Adolph, B., & Manzi, J. (2004). Piloting an adaptive research process to address farmer’s information gaps. Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 9(1), 137–144. Retrieved from http://journal.naro.go.ug/index.php/ujas/article/view/211