«Deborah Duveskog Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences Department of Urban and Rural Development Uppsala Doctoral Thesis Swedish ...»
Ø། Change of attitude: One of the biggest challenge for implementation of demand-driven services is change of attitude: behavioural and attitudinal change on the part of all actors involved involving a shift from a top-down supply-driven context to a bottom-up articulation of needs and demands involving lateral sharing (Chambers 1993; Christoplos 2003; Scoones and Thompson 1994; Sen 1997; Leeuwis 2004) as found in the case of Tanzania and Ethiopia and in Zimbabwe (Hagmann et al. 1999; Kibwana et al. 2001).
4.4 Agriculture extension in East Africa, from past to present The history of agricultural extension in East Africa goes back to colonial times and pre-independence. In the beginning of the 20th century when the British colonised the area, plantation agriculture became common with peasants working as labour on large farms. In Uganda peasants occupying privatised land were transformed into tenants with tremendous extraction of commodity and land rents from tenants, which later on resulted in large peasant protest movements (Bazaara, 2000). Production by peasants was often based on force, and trade in agricultural products based on monopoly. This structure of colonial economy disadvantaged peasants and was characterised by a very topdown instruction based approach to teaching with disregard for local farming knowledge and innovation.
An appreciation of the colonial heritage of the study is not only relevant in order to understand the farming context, but also the context of education.
Traditional African principles of knowledge emphasise collective humanism (Ntseane 2012) with a goal of living happily with other people of the tribe, clan or community, and informality (Ntseane 2007). Training methods were based on oral mode of instruction such as stories and metaphors. Colonialism on the other hand partly provided an imposition of the colonizers way of knowing, formalisation and control of knowledge produced with a suppression of cultural practices, spirituality, thinking patterns, beliefs and values (Chilisa 2011). Ntseane (2012) argues that the “major shortcoming of adult education in Africa has been that it elevated rationality over other forms of knowledge, human thought, and discourses that are probably critical for reflection and transformative learning” (p.279). This cultural heritage and potential conflict among individuals related to how knowledge and education is perceived should not be ignored when analysing FFS participants learning experience in this study.
In the post-independence period in East Africa, the state dominated agriculture and provided general extension services and credit, controlled the provision of inputs and bought marketed outputs (Schwartz and Kampen 1992). The basic needs, growth with equity approach of the 1970s increased the emphasis on food production to decrease dependency on imports (Schwartz and Kampen 1992). The extension system of colonial times was followed by the T&V system in the 1980-90s.
Currently the trend among governments in East Africa is to promote demand-driven and decentralized services for resource poor farmers. This is to an increasing extent taking place in the policy context of ‘Poverty Reduction Support Programmes’ (PRSP’s) and liberalization of government services in general. Below follows a brief description of the extension context in each of the target countries for this research from historical to current perspective.
Kenya In the early 1920s Kenya adopted a policy that supported farmers to grow surplus for export and extension officers were appointed. However, the extension context remained largely dominated by white settlers until in the 1940s when measures were put in place to intensify African agriculture and when a number of Farmer Training Centres were established throughout the country (SSANAAS 2004). As the first country in Africa Kenya introduced the T&V approach on pilot basis in 1982, and by 1985 the program had expanded to cover thirty district (Bindlish and Evenson 1997). Following the introduction of T&V Kenya’s extension expenditures increased with 19 percent and the proportion of farmers who reported receiving extension advice increased from 6 to 48 percent (Bindlish and Evenson 1997). Structural adjustment, the movement towards liberalization, as well as rising concerns of the efficiency of government-led extension in the nineties resulted in the increasing decentralization and privatisation of extension provision in Kenya (Mugunieri and Omiti 2005) and an end of the large T&V program in 1998.
The history of poor performance of extension in Kenya (Gautam 2000) has given extension a poor reputation. In the Kenyan Strategy to Revitalize
Agriculture (SRA) it is stated that:
The current extension system is ineffective and is considered as one of the main causes of the poor performance of the agricultural sector (Government of Kenya 2004, p. 9).
Today there are many players in extension in Kenya, government, NGOs, bilateral organisations, farmer groups etc. The National Agricultural Extension Policy (NAEP) of 2001 was revised in 2006 in order to adapt to institutional and functional changes in the SRA (Government of Kenya 2004) and to make the policy more inclusive of all players in extension. Major components in the policy include focus on market oriented agricultural services, move towards privatisation of extension, decentralisation of services, quality control and regulation.
In 2000 the National Agricultural and Livestock Extension Programme (NALEP) commenced with support from SIDA. The NALEP framework supports multiple extension methodologies with the core of its field activities being undertaken through the shifting focal area approach where resources and extension assistance are concentrated in specific areas for certain period of time, following a comprehensive participatory rural appraisal and where common interest groups are supported. NALEP has until the end of its 2nd phase in 2011 been the largest extension related programme in the country both in terms of coverage and level of funding. FAO introduced the FFS in Kenya in 1996 on pilot basis, and the approach has since expanded and been taken up by a range of extension actors. By the start of this research in 2005 about 2500 FFS groups had been implemented in the country, and institutionalisation started by the uptake of FFS in national programmes such as the national MDG programme.
Uganda During the early colonial period research stations were created to generate information on the cash crops that formed the backbone for the Ugandan economy. Up to the 1950s focus was on distribution of planting materials for cash crops and simple advisory, while later support to ‘progressive’ farmers emerged and facilitation of visits by other farmers to these. From the mid 70s activities stagnated due to armed conflict and political turmoil in the country.
Only after recovery of basic services the agricultural support reappeared. Until 1991 when a new policy supported by the World Bank was put in place agricultural services were fragmented with parallel extension services in different ministries. The new policy harmonised extension nationally and provided services under the T&V model. However, in the end of the 1990s it became clear that the system applied was inefficient, top-down and unsustainable and in line with the national economic policies the government started working towards a public sector reform which entailed liberalisation, decentralisation, and privatisation (SSANAAS 2004).
Thereby, in the context of the Plan for Modernising Agriculture released in 2000, agricultural extension has to a large extent been decentralized to district level through the National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAADS). NAADS was initially seen as a progressive demand-driven extension system aiming to increase agricultural productivity and commercialisation. Through NAADS service provision was privatised and decentralised. Despite that the early NAADS facing a number of challenges and constraints such as; tedious and costly process, lack of flexibility in the selection of ‘commercial’ enterprises by farmers, lack in poverty focus etc. (Friis-Hansen 2005), NAADS was one of the first attempts in Africa to implement demand driven extension system on national scale.
Tanzania Agriculture in Tanzania took a slightly different pathway than other countries in the region, postcolonial. When Nyerere became the first president he adopted a policy of socialism. This entailed creation of huge farms where people were encouraged or forced to move into large villages in which food and goods would be produced collectively for the community. This led to a drastically slumped agricultural production in the country (Collier 1991).
Through the history of extension in Tanzania the government has applied a range of approaches such as targeting settlement scheme, establishment of farmer training centres, setting up of demonstration plots, farming system research and extension, T&V etc. In the 60s the focus was mainly on commercial farming among settlers and progressive farmers. The T&V system was introduced in Tanzania in 1987 by the World Bank and continued until the support was phased out in 2002. Since the 1990s efforts were made to make the T&V system more demand driven, and less top-down, such as the launching of the National Agricultural and Livestock Extension Rehabilitation Project (NALERP) in 1989, however with little success. NALERP was in 1996 followed by the National Agricultural Extension Project II (NAEP). During the recent years Tanzania has undergone a Reform of Agricultural Extension Services and the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP) was formulated with the aim of developing a national policy for agricultural research, extension and training. This has led to a local government reform strategy whereby full responsibility of extension activities has been transferred to the local government at district level, including re-locations of a large proportion of extension staffs from the head quarters to district level (Mlozi and Mvena 2000; Friis-Hansen 2004; Havnevik 2005).
The Agricultural Services Support Programme (ASSP) was launched in 2005 as a mean to implement parts of the ADDP policy and to reform and strengthen agricultural services. Most of the actual field implementation under ASSP has taken place through the Farmer Empowerment Programme Component which supports group formation processes and farmer education, building largely on the FFS approach (United Republic of Tanzania 2004).
Through the ASSP programme Tanzania thereby is the first country in Africa to institutionalise the FFS approach fully within public advisory services.
5 Farmer field schools The following section outlines briefly the history and evolution of the FFS and explains in more detail some of the key principles and features of the approach.
5.1 Background FFS as an extension approach grew out of the T&V process at the end of 1980s in Indonesia, as a response to s rice insect outbreak affecting the country and for which conventional extension was not able to address effectively and for which Integrated Pest Management (IPM), i.e. use of minimal pesticides in a holistic way, seemed to be the solution (CIP-UPWARD 2003). When extension workers started to deliver information about IPM, using methods similar to those they had used in the past to transfer information about pesticides, they realized that the information about IPM was more complex and difficult to transfer using conventional methods (Ortiz et al. 2005). The T&V methods of delivering messages were often inappropriate and too simple to deal with complex problem and it proved necessary to instead ensure local decision making by farmers in their own fields. The hands-on practical learning in FFS, building on adult education principles and experiential learning emerged as a mean of facilitating critical decision making skills among farmers to deal with complex farming problems (Gallagher 2003).
FFS is a school without wall that provides a forum where farmers meet regularly to make field observations, relate their observations to the ecosystem and apply their previous experience and any new information for informed crop or livestock management decisions. FFS operates through groups of people with a common interest, who get together on a regular basis to study the “how and why” of a particular topic.
The topics covered can vary considerably; from IPM, organic agriculture, animal husbandry, and soil husbandry to business skills etc. (Braun et al.
2005). Apart from technical issues group dynamic exercises and session addressing “special topics” relating to non-agricultural issues are integrated in the learning approach. Song and dance is often used to internalize learning in a way that it can be expressed to others. A skilled facilitator guides the FFS learning activities.
The FFS approach was introduced in East Africa, with support from FAO in 1996 following the successes in Asia during the 1990s (Sones and Duveskog 2003). There are currently a multitude of FFS initiatives in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and elsewhere in the region, funded by various development agencies, and at varying degrees of scale and level of institutionalisation.
5.2 The learning processes in FFS The learning process in FFS is undertaken based on some key principles related to attitude, type of farmers-trainer relationship, and source of information for learning.
Pretty (2005) outlines the five key underlying principles of FFS as:
Ø། What is relevant and meaningful is decided by the learner and must be discovered by the learner. Learning flourishes in a situation in which teaching is seen as a facilitating process that assists people to explore and discover the personal meaning of events from them.
Ø། Learning is a consequence of experience. People become responsible when they have assumed responsibility and experienced success.
Ø། Cooperative approaches are enabling. As people invest in collaborative group approaches, they develop a better sense of their own worth.
Ø། Learning is an evolutionary process and is characterised by free and open communication, confrontation, acceptance, respect and the right to make mistakes.
Ø། Each person’s experience of reality is unique. As they become more aware of how they learn and solve problems, they can refine and modify their own styles of learning and action.