The SWHISA approach to extension:. The SWHISA approach extension:. participatory, farmer led, open-ended and interactive relationship among farm families, extension staff, agricultural researchers and other rural development agents
participatory, farmer led,
open-ended and interactive relationship among farm families, extension staff, agricultural researchers and other rural development agents
The primary extension technique would be Participatory Technology Development, supplemented and supported through a variety of other modern extension methods.
Participatory Technology Development (PTD) is a process of developing technology that is led by farmers.
PTD differs from demonstrations as it does not involve showing a farmer a proven or recommended technology; is conducted in a participatory manner and farmers are full partners.
Conducting PTD is a learning process for everyone, with extension staff acting as facilitators.
Farmers have always been active developers of farming practices. PTD builds on, supports and encourages this capacity.
Farmers work directly with research station scientists to design and monitor trials.
develop appropriate technology for each site,
create farm user and local advisor (DA) ownership in the technology,
create important learning opportunities for extension staff,
provide important information needs assessment opportunities to providers of extension technical assistance and training,
provide appropriate and necessary applied research projects for concerned scientists.
demonstrate the role of research in responding to, rather than directing farmer’s activities
provide an opportunity for extension staff at all levels to learn and apply a number of additional extension techniques
immerse the three main partner institutions, CoSAERAR, BoA and ARARI in a cooperative, mutually supportive, working environment
household water harvesting,
irrigated crop production, and
Farmer Focus Groups would be the group of farmers directly engaged with technical support staff in the design and implementation of the PTD project.
Development teams would be the group of extension, research and rural development professionals working with the farmer focus groups to carryout the PTD project.
the current water user group concerned with a traditional or permanent stream diversion scheme, or the command area of a dam. The traditional water user group organization centered around an elected water “father” would likely be utilized initially. Alternatively a modern water user group could be formed.
Each of these focus groups would consist of the householder selected for a household water harvesting structure trial, any adjacent householders also benefiting from the trial structure and/or immediate neighbors interested in the trial.
the farm families utilizing the watershed area of a small scale water catchment structure as well as others downstream who benefit directly from the water harvested by the catchment structure.
the farm families utilizing a site where farm level water conservation practices and small structures can make major contributions to environmental preservation and productivity. This group should include farm families utilizing sites below these areas that will also benefit from the upslope interventions.
approximately 10 persons would be formed to work with the concerned farm families in each focus group.
Project partners ARARI, BoA and CoSAERAR in collaboration with SWHISA advisors, would identify and assign appropriate regional persons from each agency to participate in the core Development Teams.
Each Woreda Administration would designate the Woreda level team members in accordance with project requirements.
TEAM LEADER: the Woreda level Agriculture Officer responsible for the technology being examined
two of the farmer representative(s) selected by the farmer focus group,
the concerned DA,
the regional officer(s) of BoA responsible for technical assistance and training to extension field staff,
the scientist of ARARI concerned with the technology being developed,
the ARARI on-farm research assistants in the Woreda,
the concerned CoSAERAR officer(s ),
the Woreda level Agriculture Officer responsible for extension activities focused on women ,
the concerned SWHISA advisors.
The development team would meet (at least) three times a year at the PTD field sites.
Between meetings members of the development team based in the Woreda (ie.Woreda Agriculture officers, DAs and ARARI on-farm research assistants) would continue to work with the farmer focus group to implement the PTD project.
The first meeting would introduce the team members to the selected focus group and establish the parameters of the PTD project to be undertaken.
The PTD plan would be formulated and the various responsibilities: managerial, informational, physical and financial, would be reviewed and allocated.
The second meeting would convene when the PTD activity was in place and established. For example
in irrigated crop production technologies it may be desirable that the crop is well established and the initial water application completed;
for watershed management technologies small constructions or initial environmental modifications should have been completed;
for household water harvesting structures the structure should be completed and operational.
During the second meeting the project would be examined for compliance with the initial plan, any indicative changes discussed and agreed and any additional managerial, informational, physical and financial needs allocated.
During this meeting
PTD results and achievements would be evaluated,
problems would be identified and reviewed, and ideas for improvements would be discussed.
A cost benefit analysis would be an important part of the evaluation procedure.
Yearly evaluations may be necessary for a period of time.
The roles, mission and organization of the development team would also be evaluated.
It is envisaged that after 2 years of structured intervention, the focus group, with the cooperation of the local DA, the designated WOA officer and periodic further advice and/or assistance from other concerned professionals, would carry on monitoring, improving and evolving their technology.