Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Videos and farmer-to-farmer learning for a more sustainable agriculture

Hörner, D., Bouguen, A., Frölich, M. und Wollni, M. (2021): Knowledge and adoption of complex agricultural technologies – Evidence from an extension experiment. The World Bank Economic Review. DOI: 10.1093/wber/lhab025 #23 p.

11 January 2022.
Rural 21. In most of Sub-Saharan Africa, agricultural extension models have become more
complex and rely on effective farmer-to-farmer learning, while increasingly including non-traditional forms of education. In cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, a research team led by Göttingen University have investigated how training methods can spread good practice in Ethiopia.

Smallholder family farms shape the agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, they are often affected by declining soil fertility as well as hunger and poverty. Farming practices that increase productivity as well as protecting the soil are therefore crucial. 

In collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), researchers from the Universities of Göttingen and Mannheim (both in Germany) and Santa Clara (California), have investigated how training methods can spread good practice in Ethiopia. The results were published in the journal The World Bank Economic Review in December.

The team found evidence that farmers who were not directly trained by model farmers also used the practices more often – an indication of informal information transfer in the villages. 
"Apart from finding that information was informally trickling down to the group of farmers
who weren’t receiving training personally from a model farmer, we found that there was a significant additional benefit for this particular group from watching the educational video," 
Dr Denise Hörner from the University of Göttingen

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