Disentangling the experiential learning process of coffee farmers in Uganda’s innovation platforms

Robert Ochago*, D. Dentoni, T. Lans, J.H. Trienekens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: While new rich learning opportunities emerged through the introduction of Innovation Platforms (IPs) in agricultural value chains, the extent to which IPs enhance farmer experiential learning is still unclear.
Design/methodology/approach: This paper brings clarity to the above question by interviewing 91 coffee IP farmers. Data were analyzed through content analysis to generate overarching themes for farmers’ experiences, learning activities, and outcomes.
Findings: Results reveal that participation in IP learning activities generates farmers’ knowledge to cope with coffee value chain challenges. Specifically, farmers’ making-meaning of challenges and generating new solutions represents an iteration between individual critical reflection and experimentation of value chain activities. The IPs facilitated multi-directional knowledge flows
among farmers by mobilizing necessary resources.
Practical implications: As many Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) governments cannot provide sufficient extension support, farmers increasingly rely on IPs whose processes stimulate members’ learning commitment and endeavors. Nevertheless, Governments can use these findings to tailor the design and implementation of
IPs to farmers’ experiential learning processes.
Theoretical implications: The study contributes to experiential theory in the context of agriculture by advancing a model on how IPs can accelerate farmers’ experiential learning processes based on the challenges experienced.
Originality/value: This article extends knowledge of experiential learning in IPs context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-148
JournalThe Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension
Issue number1
Early online date23 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • agriculture
  • coffee value chains
  • social networks
  • multi-stakeholder platforms
  • extension approaches
  • problem-based learning


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