Assessment of technical efficiency of farmer teachers in the uptake and dissemination of push-pull technology in Western Kenya
Amudavi, D. M.
Khan, Z. R.
Wanyama, J. M.
Midega, C. A.O.
Nyangau, I. M.
Pickett, J. A.
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Use of farmers as extension agents to disseminate new technologies to others is increasingly being adapted in smallholder farming systems. This paper examined technical efficiency (TE) of farmer teachers in the uptake and dissemination of a 'push-pull' technology (PPT) for control of Striga weed and stemborers in Western Kenya. A total sample of 112 farmer teachers (FTs) and 560 follower farmers (FFs) who had adopted the PPT were randomly selected and interviewed between July and August 2007. The farm production constraints significantly reduced with an overall 53% margin following PPT uptake. Overall, there were considerable benefits from training resulting in significant differences in understanding and applying of PPT. The farmers' extension strategy had a significant multiplier effect in increasing PPT uptake. The average TE by FTs was 78% while FFs had 71% suggesting room for improvement. The TE was influenced by farmers' interactions with neighbouring farmers, memberships in local groups, type of farmer, farmer's age, marital status and farmer's level of education. The efficiency can be improved by providing farmers with incentives and training, increasing field demonstrations, providing Desmodium seed and credit for other needed inputs to accelerate PPT transfer.
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