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Evaluating an approach to agricultural technology adoption in Tanzania
Food security is an urgent international priority. However, agricultural extension methods that relied on imposing centrally-developed technological solutions have been ineffective, since small farmers in developing countries often cultivate marginal lands, working under constraints for which these solutions were not designed. Since 2006, a flexible agricultural extension approach has been implemented in Northern Tanzania, inspired by the Farmer Field School approach, and offering farmers a ‘basket of technology options’ from which farmers can pick and choose what serves their needs and resources best. The focus is on extending improved low-cost farming techniques adaptable to local conditions in a pragmatic and flexible process. The interventions are locally known as ‘RIPAT’,have received financial and technical support from the Rockwool Foundation. Farmers’ Choice outlines the RIPAT intervention, and examines how effective it has been.This evaluation should be read by all those interested in improving the food security and incomes of poor farmers in the Global South: agricultural scientists, anthropologists, staff of NGOs, researchers and students of development studies
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