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ترویج وآموزش کشاورزی
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Group extension
Group extension is a way of disseminating information and technologies on agricultural and rural development through groups of farmers. It aims to develop local skills and empower local people to solve their own problems. It is a key part of participatory extension processes (see the section on Participatory agricultural extension).
Government and non-government organizations have too few staff and resources to provide extension advice to every farmer individually. Traditional extension approaches are often top-down and ineffective. Working with groups of farmers allows staff to interact with larger numbers of farmers at the same time, thus using scarce resources efficiently. In addition, many activities are best performed by groups of farmers rather than individuals. Group members can pool their labour and other resources, divide tasks into manageable units, learn from one another, and make decisions jointly. The examples later in this section illustrate this.
Advantages
o    By uniting and contributing to a common pool, the group members are able to achieve things they would not be able to do as individuals. Many sustainable agriculture techniques are labour-intensive; the groups allow farmers to share labour to make improvements in their farms. They reduce the burden of work for individual farmers by sharing it among many.
o    Farmers can share farm implements and machinery, planting materials and other resources.
o    Every group member receives a tangible benefit (such as a water tank, a cow, or seedlings).
o    Groups can help even the poorest people to improve their livelihoods.
o    Groups provide an opportunity for strengthening friendship and teamwork, allowing members to share ideas, insights, experiences and problems.
o    Groups provide a forum for extensionists and development agents to introduce ideas and skills that may be relevant to the farmers' problems and needs.
o    Groups may form to do certain things—often a money-making activity such as poultry-raising, vegetable-growing and selling crops (see the section on Marketing produce as a group). These activities can make money for the group as a whole or for its members. But the groups can also take on other tasks that do not make money directly, such as compost-making, health education, or other community-related tasks.
o    Groups can seek funding and advice from NGOs or donor organizations to support their development work. This type of support is not usually available for individuals.
Disadvantages
o    Groups may become dependent on outside organizations such as an NGO. The outside organization should be careful to avoid this: it should strive to empower the group to manage and finance its own affairs, so it becomes "self-propelled".
o    Groups may fail because of conflicts among their members. The members must have similar interests and understandings about the group, and what it will (and will not) achieve. The benefits should be distributed fairly, according to the amount of effort each member puts in.
o    Groups also fail because the members feel they put in more than they get out. Activities should have a reasonably quick payback: one that members see as important.
Procedure
Many of the activities in the list below are continuous and happen at the same time. The development worker should help and guide the group members through a participatory process, rather than forcing them or making decisions for them.
1. Conduct an initial survey to find out people's attitudes and priorities, and to gain an understanding of the community and its environment. Collect information on the local land, soil and climate types, vegetation and crops, social and economic characteristics. This survey can use a combination of participatory appraisal techniques, questionnaires, and a review of existing information collected by village officials and local authorities. The survey can be conducted by the local people themselves. See the section on Participatory agricultural extension for more information.
2. As part of this process, help the people prioritize their problems and identify possible solutions and opportunities. If a group of outsiders with different specializations is involved in the survey, they can call on their own experience to suggest solutions to the problems identified.
3. Discuss the group approach with members of the community. Discover if they are interested in forming a group.
4. Identify villagers willing to participate in the group. Group members should have important features in common: they may farm the same type of land, grow the same crop, raise the same type of livestock, or get fuelwood from the same forest. They should be able to attend group meetings, be interested in the topic, and willing to learn and share their knowledge with others. The ideal size of a group depends on its
aims and focus. Groups of about 20-30 people seem to work well for many topics. It may be possible to base such groups on existing local organizations, such as a credit co-operative or irrigation association. Women-only groups provide an opportunity for women to learn, generate income, and take on responsibilities and leadership within the community.
5. Help the group to determine what it wants to do: its aims and activities, plans and responsibilities. This should be a continuous process: the group should review its plans on a regular basis as conditions change.
6. Help the group work out its dynamics and working procedures: how are meetings conducted, how is work organized, how are activities evaluated? Provide training on subjects such as facilitation, leadership, management, group dynamics and record-keeping if required.
7. Help the group decide how to run itself. It should develop a set of rules and bye-laws (see the box below for some of these). Determining these rules and procedures is a continuous process. The group should not try to fix them all at once, and should be willing to review its decisions as conditions change.
8. Help the group decide how to handle money (see the box for some guidelines).

 
Rules for groups
Each group must establish a set of working rules. These can be formal or informal, but they must be clearly understood. There should be benefits for following the rules, and penalties for breaking them.
Bye-laws
o    How much labour must each member contribute, and should this be free or paid (in cash or as meals)?
o    Who should the group officials (chairperson, secretary, treasurer, etc.) be, and how should they be chosen? How often should the officials be changed? What is the role of each official?
o    What are other bye-laws and rules: punctuality for meetings, attendance at workdays, penalties for breaking the rules, etc.
Financial
o    How much money must each member contribute, and how often?
o    How should this money be spent? How should the group purchase equipment and supplies?
o    Who controls the money: who makes decisions on spending and allocation, and who looks after the money?
o    What are the requirements for registering the group with the authorities? How can the group open a bank account? What are its tax obligations?
o    How are the accounts kept? Who keeps them, in what form, and who else is involved in the book-keeping? How easy is it to understand the records? How transparent are they? What safeguards are there against corruption?
9. Identify information from outside the village that the group can use: technical packages from universities, research institutes or other villages that might be useful to solve the problems identified in the survey.
10. Help the villagers identify promising technologies that they wish to test and adapt. Help them design and implement field tests of these technologies (see the section on Participatory technology development).
11. Arrange training and field visits to introduce the new technologies to the group members. Visits to research sites or other villages are particularly useful to demonstrate new technologies and how problems can be solved.
12. Assist the group to refine and implement its plans.
13. Create linkages with government agencies, universities and NGOs so the group can access services and resources such as seed, fertilizer, credit and marketing facilities.
14. Evaluate the results with the group members. Arrange evaluation sessions with all group members, and invite members from other groups to help disseminate information more widely. Such sessions are a good opportunity to learn the feelings, needs and priorities of farmers.
Group extension for tree and coffee seedlings in Ethiopia
Farmers in Mareka Gena, in southern Ethiopia, face twin problems of deforestation and a disease attacking coffee berries. Deforestation causes severe soil erosion and a lack of fuelwood and building poles, while the berry disease cuts coffee yields by more than 30%.
ActionAid-Ethiopia helps form local savings-and-credit groups and works with them using the approach described above. It has found that groups with 20-30 members function better and suffer from fewer internal conflicts than do village co-operatives. This is because the groups are smaller and more manageable, and their members have more in common than do the much larger village-wide co-operatives. The groups can focus on problems they feel are important, rather than those identified by outsiders. However, ActionAid found that regular meetings and refresher workshops are necessary to maintain the groups' skills and enthusiasm.
ActionAid provides the groups with advice on coffee cultivation. One or two
farmers in each group volunteered to establish nurseries to produce coffee seedlings of varieties resistant to the berry disease. ActionAid trained them in nursery management, coffee production and forestry activities, and provided them with subsidized seeds. These "resource farmers" have established nurseries on their own land and grow seedlings to plant or to sell to their neighbours. The resource farmers have become effective extensionists, spreading their new knowledge among their neighbours.
Unlike the government's coffee-seedling nurseries, these nurseries are managed entirely by farmers themselves. They require minimum inputs from outside, and information that seedlings are available spreads rapidly by word-of-mouth throughout the area.
In 1996, Ato Alemaye Aydeko, one of the resource farmers, sold coffee seedlings worth about birr 1200 (US$ 175). In this year, 15 farmers were engaged in raising coffee seedlings. In 1997, ActionAid began using the same approach to introduce forest-tree seedlings. In the first year, five groups with a total of 50 farmers began raising forest-tree seedlings. —For more information, contact Moges Bekele, ActionAid-Ethiopia.
Rainwater harvesting in Kenya
Lack of water is a major problem in Olmoran and Sipili in Laikipia district, Kenya. With a rainfall of 400-600 mm, these villages suffer from drought and famine. Dams, ponds and scattered boreholes (averaging 100 m deep) provide water, but about 20% of the people rely on shallow wells and springs for their domestic water. To the nearest water source is an average round trip of 6 km—more in the dry season.
The Church Province of Kenya has tried to alleviate this problem by helping villagers harvest rainwater and build water-storage tanks. It worked with villagers (995 families in all) to form 32 groups, ranging in size from 12 to 50 people each. Each group formed its own bye-laws. The government provided technical inputs; CPK provided materials to build the tanks, and community members contributed labour and part of the costs. The project was overseen by a steering committee consisting of government representatives, with the district officer as its chairperson and the CPK regional manager as the committee secretary.
The members of each group worked with artisans at one member's house to build a water tank: either above-ground to store rainwater off the roof, or underground to collect surface runoff. The host family provided food for everyone working there. When the work was completed, the group moved on to another member's house.   
    Underground tank and pump
The members built a total of 151 lined underground tanks and 90 above-ground tanks, and installed 56 pumps. A total of 20 artisans were trained through the project. Besides making water more readily available for household use, the tanks enabled families to start kitchen-gardens, thereby improving their diets.
     
    Above-ground tank. This can
be used only with a metal roof.
 
   
   
Most of the tanks were roofed with grass, but this tended to be eaten by termites.Tanks without a roof were breeding-grounds for mosquitoes, and were a danger to children and livestock. The project introduced fish to eat the mosquito larvae.
Gutters to collect water from the roof were not part of the project. Some families put up poor-quality gutters, which were not effective in collecting water in a heavy storm. With hindsight, the project should have put more emphasis on maintaining the gutters, tanks and pumps, and on training people (especially the women) how to do this. —For more information, contact Joseph Ndegwa, CPK.
A multi-purpose women's group in Kenya
In 1988, a group of 25 women in Kiamunyeki village, Nakuru, formed the Mahoya Women's Group. The Church Province of Kenya trained them in how to improve their farming methods and increase their production so they would have a surplus for sale. This training covered topics such as compost-making, intensive kitchen-gardening, deep soil preparation, agroforestry, zero-grazing, and poultry production.
The group decided that its priority was to construct tanks to hold water for drinking and for watering livestock. CPK guided the women in group dynamics and help them organize so they could build the tanks. CPK donated money to buy sand and cement, and the group also saved money and contributed labour. The members built one tank for each family in turn; it took about 2 months to save up enough money to build each tank. The group drew lots to decide whose tank should be built first.
Since then, the group has also bought a cow fro each members, and is in the processor buying some land on which to build a shop where it can sell produce.
The members also are engaged in many other activities: they make compost, keep poultry, plant trees, make their own soap, and invite specialists to train them in family planning, AIDS prevention and other health-related topics. —For more information, contact Hilda Mukui, CPK.
Agricultural extension in Zambia
Following the devastating 1991-92 drought, thousands of Zambian farmers were left with almost no seed to plant. In 1994, after the forming a partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture in Livingstone and Kalomo districts, CARE-Zambia began supporting farmers through a seed-distribution project. The problem was how to have close contact with a very large number of farmers over a big area, using a small but highly motivated extension team.
The extension team first assessed existing local institutions, to learn what type of groups exist and how they function, and to create an understanding of what CARE hoped to achieve. This initial fieldwork was very important to avoid duplicating any structures that were already there.
The next step was to encourage the formation of small groups of farmers (where none existed) and get each of these to elect a leader. Several groups within each village formed a village mangement committee, and elected three (chairman, secretary and
 

treasurer), at least one of whom was a woman. Several village committees then formed an area management committee.
The area management committee is the main point of contact and training support from CARE. This structure enables the 8-person CARE extension team to reach as many as 10,000 individual farmers. The CARE staff visit each area committee once every two weeks for co-ordination and extension work. The committee members are responsible for co-ordinating the activities of the members of their farmer groups, and for passing on information to them. Because the village and area committee members are also farmers and the meetings take place in the villages, the CARE team can meet other farmers and help them seek solutions to local problems. —For more information, contact Robby Mwiinga, CARE-Zambia.
Community labour-sharing groups in Kenya
In many parts of Africa, farmers organize small, voluntary work groups to allow the members to help each other to accomplish heavy farm tasks such as ploughing, planting, and harvesting. These groups may also be organized for other community work, such as building houses, or preparing food during a wedding or funeral. Some development organizations try to build on these local institutions to carry out their agricultural extension work.
The Environmental Action Team, a Kenyan NGO, is using such an approach in Kitale district. The work groups are common in many parts of Kenya, and are known by several names, including saga, ngwatio and m'wthya. In Kitale they are known as bulala, and are being used by the Environmental Action Team to promote and share new farming and conservation practices. Using bulala groups is a form of farmer-to-farmer extension, as farmers learn a particular innovation and share their knowledge and skills to other farmers. Farmers are generally enthusiastic to share their skills with other farmers.
The Environmental Action Team encourages farmers who are interested to learn new practices to form a bulala. The ideal number of members in a bulala is four to six; if there are more than six members, the rotation scheme is very slow. A bulala is usually formed by a group of neighbours. The members elect a farmer-instructor, who then helps the group to decide how they want to work together and what they want to learn. The farmer-instructor works
With the EAT extension staff. A bulala may meet twice a week to work on each others' fields, rotating among the members' farms to ensure that work is equitably distributed.
On bulala work days, the farmer-instructor shares insights about a particular farming practice with the members of the bulala. This takes place right on the farm, sometimes with an extension workers also there. Working as a group, the members review and implement the practice. At the end of the day, the members review and reflect on their activities and lessons from the day.
There have been problems, of course. Some members show up late on work days, do not arrive at all, or send their children in their place. And some members keep their colleagues in the field long periods. This



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مرتبط با : ترویج کشاورزی
برچسب ها : ترویج وآموزش کشاورزی-آموزش کشاورزی-ترویج-
نویسنده : عادل
تاریخ : 1390/09/19
زمان : 13:58
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