A farmer-to-farmer teaching model


A farmer-to-farmer teaching model was implemented, allowing farmers to participate in field days and to work with more experienced peers. A “motherbaby” strategy was used to educate about the management of all the legume technologies used in the study. In each participating community, trials of all five legume options were grown in central village plots maintained by the FRT to allow direct observation by farmers (i.e. the “mother” plot). Individual farmers simultaneously tested one to two of the legume options in “baby” trials (10x10 meter plots) at their home and compared them to their normal cropping systems. All farmers were instructed to plant their chosen legume technology at uniform planting spacing or density.14

Commoning the Commons

This solution addresses weak governance of public and commonlands in India for forest dependent, agro-pastoralists and farming communities.

Community Knowledge Workers

Grameen foundation logo

These Community Knowledge Workers—farmers themselves—are respected in their communities and chosen by their peers. Using smartphone applications, they give their fellow farmers information on weather and marketing prices and advice on caring for their crops and animals and treating pests and diseases. They encourage their peers in the ongoing use of the applications.

Participatory Research

Finger millet

A participatory research model was used where farmer-researcher teams (FRT) were formed with representatives chosen by villagers to provide more information about the management options of the legume technologies. In this ‘horizontal’ model of research and extension, the FRT helped conduct applied research for the larger community based on the specific needs, interests and norms of the population to be served. Five different legume technologies (including seed) were offered to farmers based on earlier diversification research in central and southern Malawi as follows: groundnut (peanut) and pigeon pea intercrop (year one) rotated with maize (year two); soybean and pigeon pea intercrop (year one) rotated with maize (year two); maize and pigeon pea intercrop; Mucuna cover crop rotated with maize; and Tephrosia vogelii relay intercrop with maize.