Effectiveness of the lead farmer approach in the dissemination of soil fertility management technologies
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This study evaluates the effectiveness of the Lead Farmer Approach (LFA) as a soil fertility management and information dissemination approach. Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies were used to generate data. Quantitative data was generated using structured questionnaires. On the other hand qualitative data was generated through interviews with key informants with and group discussions with follower farmers. These methods were used to assess the effectiveness of Lead Farmers as trainers of follower farmers and the increase in knowledge of the follower farmers. In addition, the study examines the socio-economic characteristics of Lead Farmers. Results from the study show that the LFA is an effective way of disseminating soil fertility management technologies. This was indicated by the increased level of knowledge of the follower farmers after they were trained by the lead farmers. Land size, general performance of the lead farmers and meetings were the factors that significantly affect the effectiveness of the lead farmer approach as a soil fertility dissemination approach. Results from the study lead to the recommendation that LFA should be scaled up and that various donors and relevant government departments ought to provide the necessary financial and logistical support to train more Lead Farmers.