Scaling-up improved legume technologies in Tanzania (SILT) : Final Technical Report

Document also available on IDRC’s Digital Library Here.

In 2015 a group of like-minded organizations came together to explore whether working together on a campaign-based communication and extension approach could make a significant contribution to our understanding of development communications for impact and scale. The idea was simple. What if… instead of lots of individual organizations sending out messages to farmers, the organizations worked together on messages delivered through an integrated campaign approach… messages that were technically identical, but where the content of the messages was nuanced to meet the needs of different members of the small-scale farming household, and delivered through different, but linked communications media. With this as a starting point, Farm Radio International, Shujaaz, the N2Africa project, (supported through the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, -IITA and Wageningen University), the Africa Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership, the Agricultural Seeds Agency (ASA) and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) – as a consortium – produced its first co-ordinated common bean campaign.

Key findings from the various studies and evaluations include:
• There is an overall positive effect of project activities on knowledge and uptake of improved common bean technologies by farmers.
• There are important differences, however, in the results obtained for different knowledge questions and practices. These would need to be explored further. For example, results related
to the spacing to use in row planting were quite low.
• A key finding of the outcome evaluation is the effect of combining multiple extension strategies on knowledge and practice of farmers. Results suggest the potential for such an approach to
enhance scaling-up processes.
• The percentage of radio listeners was lower than that usually observed in other FRI projects in the area. This may have been caused by the gap in time between the administration of the survey and the implementation of the activities. Nevertheless, the implementation of the radio programs in the north allowed us to reach a large number of farmers – 342,000 if including both urban and rural populations; 136,800 if only considering the rural population.
• No significant difference observed in uptake of practices by both men and women across all practices, though proportionately more men used chemical fertiliser and rhizobium inoculant
• Uptake of good agricultural practices such as spacing, early planting and crop rotation was taken up by majority of farmers, largely because of the low costs associated with these practices.

This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), www.idrc.ca, and with financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC), www.international.gc.ca