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Abstract

Inadequate access to agricultural extension services often results in poor farm practices, affecting yields and subsequently the income and wellbeing of smallholder farmers. Given the high demand for agricultural information and the limited capacity of extension services, a farmer-to-farmer extension approach has been explored by many underserved farmers. In this study, we use a qualitative case study approach explore how cassava farmers who had limited access to agricultural advisory services from public extension agents managed to up-scale their farming business. Our research question was: what lessons can be learned from the lived experience of these farmers to address current challenges of cassava farming? The results of our study revealed diversity in advisory messages from farmer to farmer and agricultural extension agents. Farmers’ messages focused on encouraging farmers’ commitment and motivation towards farming business, availability of needed financial resources for the entire production season, willingness to reinvest profits, and access to farmland for future expansion. In contrast, the traditional messages from agricultural extension agents focused on encouraging group formation to address marketing challenges, diversification of farm operations, and good agricultural practices. These results show the need for pluralistic extension approaches to ensure farmers get access to necessary information.

Keywords

Agricultural Extension, Case Study, Farmer to Farmer Extension, Social Learning

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Nana Afranaa Kwapong is a lecturer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, University of Ghana. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: nkwapong@ug.edu.gh.

Dr. Daniel Adu Ankrah is a lecturer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, University of Ghana. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: dankrah@ug.edu.gh.

Dr. Dominic Boateng-Gyambiby is a PhD Candidate at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He is also a research fellow with the Center for Agribusiness and Development Research in Accra, Ghana. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: boatenggyambiby82@gmail.com.

Mr. Joseph Asenso Agyemang is a researcher at the International Development and Research Consult Ltd, Ghana. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: senso_ai@yahoo.co.uk.

Ms. Lydia Oteng Fening is a researcher at the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: fetondia2008@yahoo.com.

Publication Date

8-3-2020

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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