Participatory research approaches are widely being used for promoting the uptake of agricultural integrated innovations. The methods encourage greater knowledge sharing among farmers and give them more confidence in the technology being promoted which in turn brings about wide adoption of the technology in question. Therefore, understanding efficiency and effectiveness of participatory research approaches can further the ultimate aim of encouraging sustainable technology adoption. This study sought to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the participatory research approaches used in Babati. The study objectives included determining the characteristics of the popular participatory research approaches, comparing the socio-economic factors of farmers participating in the participatory research approaches, determining the effectiveness of the popular participatory research approaches and determining the economic efficiency of these participatory research approaches. Finally the incentives/ dis-incentives to farmers‟ participation in the popular participatory research approaches were determined. The target population for this study was maize-legume-livestock small-holder farmers and the organizations involved in the implementation of the participatory research approaches under the study in Babati District. Cross-sectional data was collected from a sample of 120 farmers by the use of multi-stage sampling. Questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussion were used in collecting primary data. Secondary data was collected through documentary analysis from public and private organizations involved in the implementation of the popular PRAs in the district. SPSS, DEA software and Excel were employed to analyze the collected data. The smallholder farmers were characterized using descriptive statistics. In addition the data was subjected to Data envelopment analysis to determine the efficiency of the PRAs. Chi-square statistic was used to determine the effectiveness of the PRAs. The results showed that gender of household head, marital status, education level, farm size, income status and age of the household heads were significantly different among the smallholder farmers participating in the participatory research approaches while family size, credit access, group membership, extension services and livestock ownership and were not. With regard to effectiveness of the PRAs, mother-baby trials and mobile demonstration plots were effective in reaching the targeted farmers while farmer research groups and coupon agro-inputs were effective in both reaching farmers and making them to become adopters. Data envelopment analysis revealed that the mean technical efficiency score for the participatory research approaches was 0.64 and 0.53 in reaching farmers and making them to become adopters of the AIIs respectively. On average, the approaches were operating below the efficient scale suggesting that adjusting the scale of operation would probably improve the overall efficiency of the pathways. Since there is still a scope for the institutions running the PRAs to increase the number of farmers trained for each pathway using the current levels of resources. This study therefore, recommends that government and other stakeholders should formulate and implement effective policies in order to make the participatory research approaches more efficient and effective in boosting the uptake of agricultural integrated innovations.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations
iAGRI-Tanzania; Regional Universities for Capacity Building
Patience Mshenga; Per Hillbur