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ERIC Number: EJ1171989
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1389-224X
Why Do Information Gaps Persist in African Smallholder Agriculture? Perspectives from Farmers Lacking Exposure to Conservation Agriculture
Brown, Brendan; Llewellyn, Rick; Nuberg, Ian
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, v24 n2 p191-208 2018
Purpose: To explore why substantial agricultural information gaps persist in African smallholder farming communities and how to reduce them. Design/methodology/approach: Using conservation agriculture (CA) as a case study, we deeply explore with 29 smallholder farmers why they are yet to obtain sufficient information to enable practice evaluation. Findings: Respondents asserted that their lack of information on CA was not reflective of a lack of interest in obtaining it, but of the unavailability and inaccessibility of learning opportunities. A deeper analysis revealed an underlying passive approach to seeking information and culture of financial expectancy. Practical implications: If extension systems are to catalyse broader sustainable intensification, we find the need for emphasis on (1) more inclusive extension mechanisms; (2) education of farmers about demand-driven extension; and (3) revision of direct input provision to lead farmers. Theoretical implications: While not contesting the value of farmer-to-farmer (F2F) extension systems for those socially connected to lead farmers, we find four research questions for further exploration regarding the practical application of F2F mechanisms that may impede their broader effectiveness, namely (1) Is extension coverage sufficient? (2) Do farmers understand demand-driven extension systems? (3) Do current incentive structures complicate farmer information seeking behaviour? and (4) Do current mechanisms encourage social stratification? Originality/Value: To date, adoption studies have largely utilised quantitative, econometric lenses that generally assume farmers are sufficiently aware of the technologies in question. Due to our in-depth qualitative analysis, we provide novel insights into how to close informational gaps that hamper efforts to increase the food and livelihood security of African smallholder farmers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Ethiopia; Kenya; Uganda; Malawi; Zambia; Mozambique
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A