Innovative agricultural extension value chain-based models for smallholder African farmers
The value chain extension strategy of Sasakawa Africa Association focuses on improving the capacity of national agricultural extension systems and follows various thematic areas along the value chain to address key challenges accountable for low income households and poverty in Africa. Farmer learning platform is a model designed to increase crop productivity and encompasses demonstration plots where technological packages demonstrated significantly outperformed other technology plots in crop productivity and average profit margins. Enterprise-oriented production, postharvest and trading centers are value adding models designed to improve the effectiveness of extension and adoption of postharvest and agricultural processing technologies by producers. The use of the above along with necessary capacity building has facilitated the development of profitable business linkages of smallholder farmers with financial institutions and reliable market opportunities. The community association trader-trainer model is a market-oriented business approach applied in combination with other extension models. In 2018, 297 community-based commodity association trader-trainers were mobilized and capacitated to improve farmer group dynamics and developed collective input and output access and cluster aggregation centers at community level where various agricultural produces were mobilized and collectively aggregated, and valued at about 3.9 million USD. The supervised enterprise project model is an innovative agricultural extension model developed along with above models for capacity development of extension agents and transfer of technologies to smallholder farmers. Over 6000 supervised enterprise projects have been introduced into 27 universities in 12 African countries for training front-line extension officers and extension delivery to farming communities.
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