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Farmer participatory research: Why extension workers should understand and facilitate farmers’ role transitions

Collection:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Contributor:
Hauser, Michael (main author), Lindtner, Mara (author), Prehsler, Sarah (author), Probst, Lorenz (author), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria
Format:
Online journal article
Publication Date:
2016-07-30
URL:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0743016716301395
Published:
Austria: Science Direct
Location:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
commercial organizations, communication analysis, communication barriers, experiments, extension, extension agents, farmer needs, farmer perceptions, farmers, organic farming, participation, research communication, research methods, Uganda (Africa, Eastern), farmer participatory research
Notes:
9 pages, via online journal, Farmers who engage in farmer participatory research (FPR) change their established social roles in households and communities. As such, comprehension of farmers’ role transitions is important to understand the extrinsic and intrinsic factors impeding or supporting the uptake and use of FPR by farmers. The existing FPR literature, however, does not address such role transitions. In this study, we analyzed farmers’ experiences with FPR and underlying role transitions in a commercial organic agriculture project in western Uganda. We drew on quantitative and qualitative data from interviews, group discussions, and observations involving farmers and extension workers. Our results suggest extrinsic and intrinsic factors affect farmers’ self-conception, influencing their willingness to participate in FPR. The level of alignment between the self-conception and the anticipated role determines farmers’ decision regarding participation in FPR and affects their response pattern. Farmers’ response pattern and individual set of inhibitors and facilitators lead to the experience of role insufficiency or role mastery, which is crucial for farmers’ continuation or termination of on-farm experiments. Understanding and facilitating role transitions is, therefore, essential for sustaining on-farm experiments, which complements current technical FPR training.