Seven seasons of learning and engaging smallholder farmers in the drought-prone areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia through Tropical Legumes, 2007–2014
Emmanuel Sifueli Monyo. (1/1/2016). Seven seasons of learning and engaging smallholder farmers in the drought-prone areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia through Tropical Legumes, 2007–2014.
During the last seven years, the baseline studies and situation analysis conducted in phase I and the early adoption studies conducted in phase II of the Tropical Legumes II (TL II) project provided a range of useful insights guiding technological development and adaptation, as well as scaling-up of promising options to the wider target domains beyond the pilot areas of the project. The socioeconomic studies provided critical feedback information to the breeders and other technological development and dissemination partners on the end user-preferred traits, priority development and technology uptake constraints, as well as early impact indicators. Adoption of more promising grain legume varieties is mostly limited by the lack of access to information on available varieties, availability of varieties with desirable production and consumption attributes, and inadequate seed supply. The major drivers of dissemination of research products and adoption by farmers have been characterized as follows: farmers’ access to new information and awareness; expected benefits and local availability of new technologies; market access and opportunities (performance of input and output value chains); and access to credit and other policies to enable farmers’ investment in new technologies. The uptake of technologies by farmers largely depends on whether a particular technology addresses the key production constraints faced by the farmers and has the traits that are highly preferred by the various end users. A growing volume of empirical work has demonstrated that farmers are unlikely to adopt new varieties that do not meet their own criteria or address major production constraints. While the institutional and policy factors may hinder the uptake of otherwise profitable varieties and practices, addressing the needs and priorities of smallholder farmers, especially women, present the necessary conditions for greater technology uptake and its impact