Fostering inter-disciplinary research to enhance rural smallholder farmer innovation and technology uptake intention using the farmer group approach: A reveiw

In Uganda, carrying out successful agricultural enterprises by rural smallholder farmers continues to meet production challenges unless actors are assisted to work collectively in groups to use innovate ideas and address them. Research shows that a group approach would facilitate farmers’ quick access to innovative agricultural services and technologies and participation in livelihood improvement. To many resource-poor farmers, it would be among the good agriculture practices that will ensure their food security, sustainable farming and income stability. Based on this, a review study was conducted on the context and the potential of the farmer group approach towards collective action and uptake of innovative technologies to improve agricultural production, food security and market-oriented farming. The reviews involved surveys, thematic and content analysis of variables of interest. The findings indicated that many farmers continue to work individually hence facing production constraints, challenges in value addition and marketing. This undermines extension programme efforts aimed at poverty reduction. This calls for an inter-disciplinary approach to try and address these bottle-necks. There is a need to come up with informed innovative scientific solutions using strong and robust farmer groups that will transform and make farmers entrepreneurial and commercial. It will involve capacity building and access to relevant innovative technology transfer to develop a pro-development scientific critical mass in the country. The main objective of this study is to use an inter-disciplinary approach to enable development of innovative ideas from a wider berth, that can be used to train and enhance local capacity that promotes farmer group innovation and technology uptake. This is based on the study findings that showed that farmer groups (FGs) perceptions and intentions individuals hold towards innovativeness, can mediate between introduction of innovations and transformation of the social context in which smallholder farmers live.
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Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Working document series
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Open Access
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