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Title: Supporting agricultural innovation : an analysis of farmer-to-farmer extension in Mbawa and Kaluluma extension planning areas, Malawi
Author: Mambo, Isaac Moya Cosby
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 159X
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2014
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Using the agricultural innovation systems (AIS) framework, this study analysed farmer-to-farmer (F-2-F) extension to understand how it is supporting and contributing to agricultural innovation, i.e., the generation, dissemination, and utilisation of innovations, among smallholder farmers in Mbawa and Kaluluma Extension Planning Areas, Malawi. The study investigated the extent and how farmer extensionists (FEs) are supporting and contributing to agricultural innovation; identified FEs' work performance assessment criteria; assessed effectiveness of FEs in reaching different groups of farmers; and the impact of F -2-F extension on smallholder farmers' livelihoods. Data were collected using questionnaire surveys from 774 and 179 randomly sampled farmers and FEs, respectively. Focus group discussions, key informant interviews, document analysis, and innovation histories were also used. Empirical findings show that FEs were largely supporting and contributing to dissemination of externally generated innovations; and generation and dissemination of locally generated innovations was limited. Using principal components analysis (PCA) to delineate better-off and poor farmers, findings show that, through group contact method, FEs were mostly working with wealthier follower farmers. Further analysis showed that, through individual contact method, FEs were accessible to all farmers regardless of their wealth, household headship, sex, and education status as they were able to consult FEs at their convenient time. Findings suggest that provision of non-monetary incentives to FEs, and addressing the constraints that FEs face in the course of their work can be key in incentivising FEs work. FEs were wealthier farmers than fellow farmers and largely selected by the community. Also, the present evidence suggest that F-2-F extension has contributed to improving smallholder farmers ' livelihoods by enhancing human, physical, financial, and social capital. The findings of this study offer guidance on the design and implementation of F-2-F extension approaches in Malawi and other developing country contexts. Lastly, the current findings point to the need for a government policy to harmonise the implementation modalities of F-2-F extension in Malawi.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available