Developing an outreach framework for strengthening university-farming community engagement for improved and sustainable livelihoods (SUFACE)

This project seeks to develop an operation framework where universities can work with rural farming communities to enhance productivity and competitiveness of smallholder agriculture, as well as responsiveness and impact of universities in agricultural development. The premise of the project is a paucity of information access and flow, and weak linkages between the university - farming community and other actors in agricultural development. The project will be create knowledge and information centres so that the University can proactively intensify its engagement with rural communities and will employ information communication technologies (ICTs) based mechanisms to enhance access and sharing of information. The appropriateness of this model will be tested within an action research framework to strengthen functionality of multi-commodity value chains of cowpeas, soyabean and rice, and will also entail building of strong partnerships along the research to development continuum and the capacity of rural communities to utilise access, utilise and intensify the use on technologies. Experiential learning approaches for University students and staff, and review the Faculty of Agriculture curricula for potential inclusion of experiential learning modules will also be undertaken to reorient the University to actively engage with rural farming communities. The project outputs will include; 1 PhD and 3 MScs students trained, 30 farmers trained on the use of ICTs for outreach, 2 information centres established, and 3 ICT based approaches for technology dissemination developed. The outcome of the project will be a responsive university research, training and outreach programme piloted and packaged for dissemination.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Printed resource

About the RUFORUM 2010 Biennal Conference
"The 2010 RUFORUM Biennial Conference was the second in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholders in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Strengthening Higher Education"