EFFECTIVENESS OF THE FARMER PROMOTER APPROACH TO INCREASE FOOD SECURITY AMONG FARMERS.
A case study of GIHANGO SECTOR IN RUTSIRO DISTRICT, RWANDA
Prepared by MUGIRANEZA Dieudonné
1.1. Background of the study
This study is about a research which will be conducted on a food security case about assessing the effectiveness of the farmer promoter approach (FPA) to increase food security among farmers in Gihango, Rutsiro District in Western of Rwanda.
According to World Food Program (WFP, 2016), Rwanda has experienced sustained economic growth coupled with progress in social development in a number of areas and is among the countries that have achieved the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Food and nutrition security is recognized as important for the overall development of the country and was highlighted as one of the long-term substantive issues of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy II (EDPRS II 2013-2018)
The report from Ministry of Agricultural and Animal Resources (MINAGRI,2016), the majority of Rwandan are smallholder farmers whose households with an average of five household members account for 0.6 hectares for their main source of food and income for buying other food which they not produce. Since 2007 the Government of Rwanda through the Strategic plan for agriculture transformation (SPAT) has initiated the crop intensification program for increasing agriculture production in order to increase food security, generate more income to farmers household and local processors. ( MINAGRI,2010)
In 2012 the MINAGRI through RWANDA AGRICULTURE BOARD initiates the National extension services Approach called locally “TWIGIRE MUHINZI EXTENSION MODEL”. The latter is true “home-grown solution” in which the farmers play the key role in agricultural extension. It is developed and implemented by RAB under the responsibility of MINAGRI in collaboration with District and Sectors which under the supervision of Ministry of local government (MINALOC). It is based on two approaches: Farmer Field School (FFS) approach by FFS facilitator and Farmer promoter approach by farmer promoter (Bertus and Remco,2016).
The TWIGIRE MUHINZI extension model strengthens the capacity of farmers’ promoters to become the village’s first extension agent while FFS facilitators are competent facilitators (with strong technical and facilitation skills) to lead the hands-on learning process.
The following figure (figure1) shows the difference between FFS and FPA and they work
Figure 1: The difference between FFS and Farmer promoter and how they work
Source: RAB, 2016
The Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA,2015) a survey conducted by WFP, MINAGRI and National Institute of Statistics in RWANDA (NISR) reported that the 80 percent of Rwandan household are generally food secure. This report classifies those food secure households into 2 categories: 40 percent of households are totally food secure and 40 percent are marginally food secure which mean they are at high risk of becoming food insecure. The report also found that 20 percent of households are food insecure and they are also categorized into two. 17 percent of households food insecure are categorize as moderately food insecure and 3 percent of them are severely food insecure.
At the provincial level, Kigali is the safest province from a food standpoint; with only 3% of its households considered food insecure while the Western Province has the lowest percentage of household food secure with 36 percent of household food insecurity among them 6 percent of households are severely food insecure. The Eastern Province has only 14 percent of its households are food insecure, the Northern with 14 percent and the Southern province with 24 percent of household food insecure. At the district level, Rutsiro (57%), Nyamagabe (47%), Nyabihu (39%), Nyaruguru (37%), Rusizi (36%), Karongi (35%) and Nyamasheke (35%) have the highest percentages of food insecurity.
Therefore, this study will weigh up the efficiency of farmer promoter approach as the first line extension services in the village for increasing food security in Rutsiro District, Western of Rwanda.
1.2. Problem statement
Since 2012 Rwandan Government through Rwandan Agriculture Board (RAB) put the efforts in Twigire Muhinzi extension Model by Farmer field school approach and Farmer promoter Approach for increasing production and generating more income for smallholder and local processors.
According to Bertus and Remco (2016), the farmer promoter approach is the first line of extension services which meet the farmers in their village and the farmer promoter provide 21 percent of all services provided while the FFS facilitator is in charge of 13 percent. This report shows that the contribution of farmer promoter approach to increase food security is considerable.
Despite this contribution on extension services, there is a lack of knowledge on how the farmers’ promoter approach is efficient in increasing food security in Rwanda.
1.3.1. Problem owner
The problem owner is the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) whose mission is to develop agriculture and livestock through the reform and use of modern methods of crop and livestock production, research, agricultural extension, education and training of farmers. Its vision is to improve the food security and livelihoods of Rwandans by transforming subsistence agriculture into modern agriculture by generating research and extension innovations that generate sustainable crops, livestock and natural resource management. (RAB,2015)
The objective of this research is to assess the effectiveness of farmer promoter approach to increase food security to smallholder farmers of Gihango sector, Rutsiro District in Western of Rwanda with the goal of improving food security through the farmer promoter approach.
This knowledge will help RAB to improve the usefulness of Farmer promoter approach in order to improve food security.
1.3. Research question
In order to reach the objective of the study the main question and the sub-question were formulated as follows:
? What is the effectiveness of the farmer promoter approach in increasing household food security?
i. How the FPA work in the study area?
ii. How does the FPA contribute to the food provided at the household level in terms of production and income?
iii. What is the food utilisation in the small farmer household?
iv. What is the food consumption in the small farmer household?
v. What are the challenges faced by the farmer promoters for achieving their tasks? What are the challenges faced by the small farmers related to farmer promoter approach?
CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW
In this chapter, the literature related to the study is specifically reviewed by defining the keywords, the theories used, and the experiential evidence on farmer promoter approach. Finally, the conceptual framework of the main concepts is presented.
2.1. Definitions of Key terms and concepts
2.1.1. Food security:
According to FAO (1996, world food summit), food security “exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Household food security is the application of this concept to the family level, with individuals within households as the focus of concern”.
In this study, the four dimensions of food security (Availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability) will be recognized to analyze in any index of food security.
The WFP- RWANDA (2016) define the food security dimensions as follows:
? Food availability: is the sufficient amount of food that is physically present in the area through all forms of domestic, commercial and food aid.
? Food access: Represents the ability of households to regularly acquire a sufficient amount of food through a combination of their own stocks and production, purchase, gift, loan or food aid.
? Food utilization refers to:
a. Households’ use of the food to which they have access
b. Intra house food distribution
c. Individuals’ ability to absorb nutrients – the conversion efficiency of the body
? Stability: all people must have the safe and nutritious food that meet their dietary needs at all the time
2.1.2 The Farmer Promoter Approach
According to Meena et al (2016) farmer promoter approach is a systematic use of community leadership and informal communication among farmers. This approach aims to strengthen the flow of information and improve agricultural production
Each Village as an administrative entity has one farmer promoter chosen by the farmers’ village inhabitants by participation exercises. The farmer promoters meet easily the farmers with good agricultural practices (GAP). ( RAB,2016)
He/ she mobilize the farmers to consolidate land, planting on time, using input and organize the groups of 20 farmers. The important tool used by the farmer to deliver his message is demonstration plot where the farmers come 3 times a season and learn how to control erosion, input use, pest control, and harvesting. He works closely with agro-dealers by informing them of the quantity of fertilizers and seeds even pesticides needed in the village and the list of farmers whose will have the government incentives on fertilizers and improved seeds. ( RAB,2016)
In worldwide, the farmer promoter approach has its origins in Guatemala in the 1970s, extending to Nicaragua in the 1980s, then Mexico and Honduras. It is currently practiced widely in many other countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa in different forms (Weinand, 2002).
The most famous and well-known extension from one farmer to another is the “Campesino a Campesino” Movement (Farmer to Farmer) in Nicaragua.
At the center of this approach are farmers trainers who are known by many names in different countries and projects. In Nicaragua, the farmer trainers are known as promoters (Hawkensworth and Perez, 2003); while the International Center for The Physiology and Ecology of Insects (ICIPE) in Kenya call them farmers teachers (Amudaviet et al., 2009). In Burkina Faso, farmer trainers are known as agricultural advisors (Lenoir, 2009) while in Peru they are known as agricultural extension agents or kamayogin the local dialect (Hellin and Dixon, 2008). Selener and Al. (1997) defined farmer trainers as individuals with little or no formal education who through a process training, experimentation, learning and practice, increase their knowledge and become capable of sharing it with others, working as extensionists.
To understand better the farmer promoter approach will help in better conducting this study.
2.1.3. Farmers group (TWIGIRE group)
According to RAB ( 2016), the farmer’s group called locally Twigire group is a group 20 farmers living in the same villages put by farmer promoter in order to be empowered in Agricultural skills. This farmers group will contribute in this study by showing the message delivered by their meeting relating to food security.
Generally, it means the extent to which stated objectives are met or the policy achieved what intended to achieve. Australian Government( 2013)
The study conducted by Moena et Al (2016) revealed that the effectiveness of the approach in the community depends on its compatibility with fiscal and political policies. It can be measured by increasing the efficiency of the work of the stakeholders and the extent to which the objectives have been achieved.
For any extension service to be considered an effective program, it must be possible to improve production and productivity, while being readily available and accessible. Ssemukula and Mutimba (2011)
In this study, the determinants of the effectiveness of FPA will be measured by how it responds to food security its dimensions.
2.2. Conceptual Framework
Figure 2: conceptual framework
Source: adapted from Ssemukula and Mutimba (2011)
CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The come up to be adopted in this research consists of all aspects of the research process under the heading of methodology. For that reason, the research plan, the approach adopted in this study, the kind of data collection methods selected and the means of data analysis are all well thought-out part of the study methodology.
3.1. Research Scope.
3.1.1. Background of Study Area
The study will be conducted in Gihango Sector localized in Rutsiro District. Rutsiro is one of 7 Districts of Western Province in RWANDA. Sixty percent of its population is below 25 years and 92% of the total population depends primarily on agriculture and livestock.
The CFSVA (2015) reported that Rutsiro District is most food insecure in Rwanda with a high percentage of 57. Among them 13 percent are food secure, 30 percent marginally food secure,48 percent moderately food insecure and 9 percent are severely food insecure.
Gihango is one of the sectors with the population about 23,194 habitats, the male is 11,039 and female 12,155. Gihango has 7 cells and 34 villages as administrative entities each village has a farmer promoter it means Gihango 34 farmer promoters.
This study area was chosen because the district is reported as most food insecure in the country and organisation (RAB) work with small farmers in the area.
Figure 3: Map of Rutsiro District Study Area: Gihango sector
3.2. Research design
The research will employ desk study in assembling relevant literature and secondary data. During the fieldwork, the research will employ a survey and case study in gathering the primary data and information from actors and stakeholders in the farmer promoter approach.
Figure 4: research framework
3.3 Research Strategy
The research strategy is a case study, the place where the primary data will be collected in order to have an in-depth understanding of the situation. The research will be qualitative with the quantitative concept for better understanding.
According to Verschuren et al., (2010) The Qualitative research is the way to explore and understand the meaning that individuals or groups attribute to a social or human problem. The strategy chosen will help the small farmers and the farmer promoters to express freely how the FPA contribute to their household food consumption, household dietary diversity, hygiene, and food store. The quantitative concept tools like Microsoft Excel will help to analyse the data in terms of percentages.
3.3.1 Data collection
The source of data collection will be primary and secondary.
? Secondary data
The secondary data was collected through desk study by using the scientific books, monographs specialized journals, Ph.D. thesis, reports, seminar papers and the Internet. The secondary data collected was helped the researcher to better understand the theoretical concepts and background information of the study
? Primary data
Primary data will be collected through the interviews with individual respondents, focus group discussions and by way of observation. Data collected will be coded, triangulated and analysed.
The strengths of using primary data reside in its nature that brings research to the source in order to collect practical data.
? Primary data collection tools:
The study area has thirty-four villages and each village will have one respondent. The purposive sampling method will be used for selecting the households. The semi-structured questionnaire will be used in the interview and households food consumption score will also coded.
In this study, only a person who uses to cook in the household will only be interviewed. One District staff and one RAB staff will also interviewed
This method will be used by a researcher to observe the hygiene condition in the households and what happens with the individual in tandem with the individual interview and FGDs.
3. Focus group discussions ( FGDs):
This method will be applied for the thirty-four farmer promoters. The farmers will be divided into three groups. The two group will have eleven person and third twelve persons. During these FGDs the note will be taken.
The aim of this method is better to understand what the farmer promoter does and the challenges he/she face for achieving their task.
3.3.2. Data analysis
Data collected from study area will be organized according to the topics and guided by the sub research questions. They will be coded and emphasize the ones which is so much important. The FGDs, RAB and District staff interview their analysis will be analysed in a qualitative manner.
The data from the member of the household interview will be also analysed in a qualitative manner with the quantitative analysis tools by showing the percentages and the graphs of household food security according to the food consumption score.