Improving the technology delivery mechanism: lessons from a pilot study on the diffusion of improved potato varieties using a farmer based seed production system

Pages 314-321

C. Lung’aho, P.M. Kinyae, H.M. Kidanemariam & P. Ewell

ABSTRACT

Poor linkages between researchers and extensionists frequently hamper the transfer of improved technologies to farmers. This is more so where a central source type of innovation model is used to pass new innovations in a one way progression in the research, extension and adoption process. Three organisations; Kenya Agricultural Research Institute – a public research organization and two non-governmental organisations; World Vision-Kenya and Plan International-Meru forged a partnership through which two late blight tolerant varieties were systematically transferred to small scale growers using a farmer based seed potato production and distribution system. The study, conducted between April 1996 and October 1997, targeted two areas; Maua and Burguret. The procedures that were used included planning/sensitization meetings, a needs assessment survey, verification trials and field demonstrations. The strengths and weaknesses of a partnership between researchers and NGOs in the process of technology transfer are presented. Measures aimed at strengthening these partnerships are suggested and important lessons that were learned discussed.

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