Farmer-to-farmer extension model has proved to be a success in the increase of technology uptake in Nakuru County and the county government has selected model farmers to train their neighbours.
County Executive for Agriculture Dr. Immaculate Maina said the farmers who were selected to lead ”farmer-to-farmer” extension service were often called model, master, or lead farmers and they were chosen according to their agricultural expertise.
She told a farmers’ field Day at Njoro farm Monday that in other countries like South America where the model was copied from due to its success, they were called farmer promoters or trainers.
She said the model has proved to be the best way of transferring technology, advice, information, knowledge and skills to other farmers.
She added that the model does not replace the agricultural extension officers, because they were the main trainers, only that it increased their knowledge transfer to as many farmers as possible.
Dr. Maina said the model will be applied to stimulate farming technology in the county and promote food security, which has already been identified as one of the four agendas.
She said the model creates a large pool of experts, and it has already been proven that farmers tend to learn better from their fellow farmers.
When farmers visit model farms in their locality, they do not only get challenged but tend to make repeat visits and ask questions on areas they have not understood, she said.
She added that in the model beneficiaries were fully involved in identifying problems, suggestions, solutions and dissemination of new technological practices.
She said for any extension model to be considered effective it should be able to improve production, and at the same time be readily available and accessible, and the farmer-to-farmer approach was addressing the weakness, which has been there in the past.
Source: Kenya News Agency