On the trail of adoption data: Africa RISING embarks on study to evaluate use of improved technologies in northern Ghana
September 4, 2015 Editor 0Oscar Dong, a local farmers group leader in #northern Ghana. Farming trials were established on his land and he is anticipating excellent yields from improved crop varieties (photo credit: Africa RISING/ Charlie Pye-Smith).
In preparation for a study to monitor adoption of Africa RISING #technologies in northern Ghana, the West Africa project team recently trained (from 29 July &8211; 2 August 2015) field enumerators and supervisors who will be involved in data collection during the study.
Led by the Africa RISING project agricultural economist, Bekele Kotu, the study, which will start in August 2015 until April 2016, is seeking to establish how and to what extent farmers are using technologies introduced by Africa RISING.
More than 46o randomly selected households in 16 Africa RISING intervention communities will be involved in the study which will interview household heads and family members. The surveyed households are selected randomly from 3,151 farm households in Africa RISING intervention areas in northern Ghana.Bekele Kotu (second row left) with enumerators at the end of a five-day training in preparation for the adoption monitoring study (photo credit: IITA/Nancy Addo).
&8216;Africa RISING&8217;s goal of improving the well-being of smallholder farmers through sustainable intensification of agricultural production will be realized to the extent that our technologies are adopted by farmers, but such adoption is rarely a smooth process; we want to know the obstacles farmers are experiencing,&8217; says Bekele.
&8216;The study will also help us know how well the technologies are being applied by farmers and, where, why and how they are being modified by smallholders,&8217; he added
Africa RISING has been holding on-farm trials with smallholder farmers in northern Ghana since mid 2013.
According to Bekele, the study is part of an ongoing evaluation of the adoption process of Africa RISING interventions and the current study comes at a time when the project&8217;s first phase is coming to an end. Information from the study is expected to guide the design of improved strategies for enhancing adoption of technologies in the second phase.
&8216;Several technologies have been identified and introduced in northern Ghana for the intensification of smallholder agriculture to improve the well-being of people. This study will provide empirical data to monitor the change our work is having on the lives of smallholder families,&8217; explains Asamoah Larbi, the Africa RISING West Africa chief scientist and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ghana country representative.
Interventions by the Africa RISING project in northern Ghana are categorized under five broad themes: partnerships and socioeconomics analysis; intensification of cereal-legume-vegetable cropping systems; intensive livestock and crop-livestock systems; land, soil and water management and nutrition, food storage, value addition and mycotoxin management. The study will provide
&8216;Previous studies, some of which focused on adoption of agricultural technologies separately (e.g. improved seeds, fertilizer) provided only partial answers to sustainable intensification of smallholder agriculture. Therefore, this study aims to examine the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and technologies in an integrated manner and will provide socio-economic information which has, so far, been a missing in the project,&8217; says Bekele.
In future, similar surveys will be carried out in Mali, Tanzania and Malawi.
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