The DFID Crop Protection Programme (CPP) has produced a large array of new technologies on weeds, diseases, insects and rodents, some of which are based on a material product, while others are 'knowledge based'. Making new technologies available to the farmers who need them is an essential step in turning good research into impact on livelihoods, but one which has not always received the attention it merits. This project focused directly on that step, to accelerate the uptake of CPP research outputs in Kenya. Thus the purpose of the project was to promote pro-poor strategies for reducing key pests, and so improve yield and quality of crops produced by small scale farmers in Kenya. This was achieved through three outputs:
- CPP research outputs adopted by farmers in Kenya
- CPP research outputs promoted and disseminated to intermediary institutions
- Farm level impact of adopted CPP research outputs determined.
Research outputs were promoted to farmers in Western Kenya through a network of farmer field schools (FFS) already established by an ongoing project funded by IFAD. The process was demand-led: farmers specified the crops they wished to work on each season, and indicated the constraints experienced in each crop. Technologies were collated from CPP and other research programmes, and presented to the FFS facilitators during three training workshops. The crops covered were beans, sweet potato, maize, sorghum, kale and groundnuts. The facilitators introduced the technologies to the FFS, and farmers chose the technologies to try out in their own and/or group managed plots. Approximately 3600 farmers were directly involved in the FFS with a further 1800 attending 30 FFS open days to learn from their colleagues, along with nearly 400 representatives of intermediary and other local organizations.
FFS members were surveyed for their preferences on the content and format of dissemination materials. Relevant existing materials were collated, and adapted and modified where necessary, while new materials were also created. Twenty two dissemination products were reproduced and disseminated to intermediary organizations as well as through the FFS. One of the products was a CD containing the source files for all the materials, allowing intermediaries to develop or reproduce further materials as required.
Surveys and farmer evaluations indicated positive impacts of the technologies tested by farmers. Farmers reported 10-15% yield increase in maize, sorghum and kale, and over 80% felt their food security had been improved. Increased marketed surplus was also reported in the same crops, contributing to improved farm incomes. Pesticide use did not increase, but fertilizer use increased in all crops except sweet potato where none was used. In all crops farmers reported an improvement in the content and timeliness of the crop production information they had received as a result of the project. Further work is required to make specific inputs available in connection with the technologies that the farmers found beneficial and wish to continue using.
Simons, S. Accelerated Uptake and Impact of CPP Research Outputs in Kenya. Final Technical Report 8299. (2005)