Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Niger, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Mali
Farmer training centers (FTCs) are a potential source of agroecological knowledge for smallholder farmers in eastern and southern Africa. As such, they are important partners in networks working to support agroecological intensification (AEI) of smallholder farming. FTCs (broadly defined here to include a range of organizations that provide agroecological training to farmers) can serve both as sources of AEI-related knowledge and practices, and as potential users of AEI knowledge obtained through CCRP’s projects and products. Networking among FTCs could enable them to learn from each other. Including FTCs in broader networks could allow other partners to learn from FTCs, and help FTCs maintain up-to-date information and approaches, and to benefit from links with researchers and other development professionals.The Kilimo Timilifu project supports the collection of information from selected FTCs in eastern and southern Africa. Identifying the current AEI curricula utilized by FTCs helps FTC representatives identify opportunities for collaboration and/or improvement.This work builds on scoping studies conducted as part of the development of farmer research networks and contributes to the AEI Exchange (AEIx; http://aeix3dev.devcloud.acquia-sites.com/ ). The AEIx is platform that could be used by FTCs to exchange principles and practices, and to gain new ideas and information. From CCRP’s point of view, this work will contribute to understanding the status of AEI knowledge and practice in FTCs in three countries in two CCRP regions, and will enrich the knowledge that informs farmer research networks in those countries.
To build cross-learning and collaborative opportunities among FTCs.To identify strengths and gaps in information being provided to farmers by FTCs.To develop and share FTC-friendly content via the AEIx, focusing on soil fertility management, erosion control, agroforestry and pest and disease management.To support for farmer research networks through the documentation of AEI principles that FTCs have identified as working well in local contexts.To build on the scoping work that has been done to lay the foundation for farmer research networks by identifying FTCs and their nuanced understanding regarding AEI-related challenges and opportunities. The experience of community-based organizations, farmer organizations and non-governmental organizations in the region can contribute significantly to knowledge sharing that can reinforce local agency and increase the potential for sustainable solutions.