Sharing seed and knowledge: farmer to farmer dissemination of agroforestry technologies in Western Kenya

E. Kiptot, S. Franzel, P.G.M. Hebinck, P. Richards

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    74 Citations (Scopus)


    Although there¿s increasing emphasis on farmer-led extension in rural development, very few studies have been done to understand the social processes involved. This study was undertaken to identify farm and farmer characteristics that may influence dissemination of seed and knowledge of improved fallows and biomass transfer, to whom, how and what is disseminated. This was done by carrying out a formal and informal survey involving a random sample of 120 farmers from Siaya and Vihiga districts of western Kenya who were involved in a pilot project on soil fertility replenishment by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). A second survey involved 40 farmers, selected using the snowball sampling technique that were given seed and information by the first group of farmers. Descriptive statistics and logit regression models were used to analyze data. Results presented showed that seed and knowledge were mostly shared along kinship ties. Furthermore, informal social networks were found to be more effective for seed than knowledge. This calls for simplification of technical information by development professionals in order to help support farmers¿ understanding and communication of complex principles. Farmers with leadership status in their groups, those who belonged to many groups and those with larger farm sizes were more likely to give out seed of improved fallows. These categories of farmers could be targeted to enhance the spread of technologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)167-179
    Number of pages13
    JournalAgroforestry Systems
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • improved tree fallows
    • zambia
    • improvement
    • adoption
    • maize


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