Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture currently operates an agricultural extension agency program to help teach smallholder farmers the most current farming techniques, but there are not enough agents to provide a constant presence in local communities. As part of the Disseminating Innovative Resources and Technologies to Smallholder Farmers (DIRTS) project, researchers collaborated with the ministry to test a new community agricultural extension agent program, which selected and trained local agents to supplement the existing MOFA agents and provide more frequent teaching and support.

Key Findings*

After three years:

  • Community extension agents successfully increased local farmers’ knowledge and improved their practices.
  • Delivering specific information about a practice close to the time when the practice should be adopted may be an important component of a successful program.
  • However, farmers’ improved knowledge and implementation of best practices did not ultimately translate into increased yields or more earnings for the farmers.
  • Farmers who received the program invested more in the use of chemicals, but not other inputs.

*These results are preliminary and may change after further data collection and/or analysis.

Publication type: 
May 01, 2018
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