Technology Generation and Dissemination for Smallholder Farmers in Southern Africa: Experiences and Lessons

The development of the traditional small-scale farming sector in Namibia will depend on the adoption of relevant productivity-increasing technologies by a majority of farm households. The World Bank has pointed to the difficulties and disappointing record of "harnessing technology" for the benefit of African farmers (IBRD, 1989). The structural adjustment programmes of the 1980s focused on improving incentives for small farmers to adopt improved technology by "getting prices right". But it is now recognised that methods developed to generate and disseminate technology for large-scale commercial farmers need to be adjusted to serve the interests of small resource-poor farmers. This paper reviews the performance of two new approaches (on-farm research (OFR) and training and visit (T&V)) that have been introduced to respond better to the needs of traditional farm households. The experience suggests that adjustments in research approach and extension management could have a bigger impact if more attention is given to integration with other actors in the technology generation and dissemination process.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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