NCBA CLUSA will focus on increasing yields and reducing post harvest losses through establishing an effective trainer network and increasing farmers’ incomes and productivity from planting to sale.
In order to impact food security as well as incomes, the project will target crops with the largest potential to both increase farmer profitability and reduce harvest loss including beans, pigeon pea, soy, maize, groundnuts and cassava. NCBA CLUSA will strengthen networks of producer groups including key relationships between farmers, input supplies and buyers.
THE AG-EXTENSION MODEL
Getting farmers to adopt new agriculture practices takes training and support. Being able to rely on a knowledgeable and available professional who can help farmers with technical questions can mean the difference between adopting a useful new practice and just continuing on with traditional agriculture.
These informed and professional trainers are known as extension agents. Through training from NCBA CLUSA as well as government agriculture ministry resources, these extension agents set up demonstration plots and train up lead farmers across the provinces. Each agent is responsible for training 30 lead farmers. These lead farmers then themselves train groups of up to 25 local neighboring farmers and producer group members on techniques like conservation agriculture, post harvest handling, and use of improved seeds.
In partnership with PROMAC, which uses lead farmer groups to teach conservation agriculture techniques, the project will be implemented with coordination from IFC technical servies, getting the most appropriate agriculture technology and information to farmers.