A number of projects in Tanzania jointly developed and used innovative and complementary communication approaches to scale-up improved legume technologies and established sustainable input supply systems. To assess the effectiveness of these communications approaches, N2Africa, the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), Farm Radio International (FRI) and other partners designed a survey tool using Computer Aided Telephone Interviews (CATI). The survey consisted of two modules: the first module focused on farmer behaviour on beans and soyabean, intention to buy, availability of inputs and demographics; the second on farmer exposure and learning through dissemination campaigns. The report at hand pertains to findings of the second module.
The second module showed that 86% of the respondents recently grew beans or soyabean while 91% intended to do so in the next suitable season. From the initial sources of knowledge for beans/ soyabean, 4.2% of the respondents mentioned radio, and after having heard the introduction jingles obtained from FRI for the five target campaigns, 32 (46%) mentioned to have listened to one or more of the survey target radio campaigns. This is 2% of the total sample of 1,646 respondents.
Despite near equal exposure to the radio campaigns, women listened to fewer episodes than men. More than 80% of women listened to three or less episodes, against 37% of men, while half or more episodes of the target campaigns applied to 45% of the men and 8% of the women.
Onwards, the second module principally evolved around the question ‘What are the 3 most important or relevant topics you learned about soyabean or beans in the last 3 years’. It was found that the N2Africa and partners’ dissemination campaigns resulted in 85% of the respondent mentioning on average 2.6 important new learning topics while for 15% the campaigns had no (new) learning effect.
Row cropping was the most frequently mentioned topic by 37% of the respondents Another 37% mentioned earlier land preparation. Crop rotation, mentioned by 12% of the respondents, 8% seeding rates, 5% remove diseased crop residues. On inputs, 31% mentioned the use of chemical fertilizer, 22% use quality seeds (certified or QDS), 21% use of manure, 19% pesticide use, 4% herbicide use, 3% use of inoculants, and 2% use of PICs bags for storage.
The learning topics mentioned were found to be in line with uptake, although uptake saw (much) higher percentages as not all topics would have been new to the respondents. In that light, it is for instance worthwhile to mention that ‘Use of PICS bags for storage’ was meant as learning topic by a small percentage (2%), but the first module showed that PICS bags are in use with 29% of the respondents.
The popularity of the topics ‘Row planting’, ‘Early land preparation’ and ‘Use of chemical fertilizer’ also matches with the first module. The first module showed that chemical fertilizers were used on farmer main field in the last completed season by 44% of the respondents. For seed, only 9% of the farmers had bought certified-quality seeds. However, on the question about farmers’ intention to ‘purchase certified seeds of the most preferred variety at TShs. 3,000 per kg for the next suitable season’, 1,696 out of 2,477 farmers (68%) confirmed this intention. This means that uptake of quality seed was mainly hampered by lack of availability/ inaccessibility, and not by awareness on the use of quality seeds.
For ‘Use of inoculants’, mentioned by only 3% as major learning topic, 8% of the farmers used, and about 20% of the farmers were aware of inoculants, of which 83% intended to buy inoculant at TZS 10,000 per 100-gram sachet. Of this 83%, three quarters (73%) did not have a source to buy inoculants. Like for seeds, uptake is therefore constrained by non-availability, but in contrast, low awareness is also an important limiting factor for the uptake of inoculants.
After topics, the question was asked ‘If you had to choose one major influence on your learning, what would this be as regards Interventions’.
An intervention for their learning topic applied to 68% of the respondents. Demonstration plots were the most frequently mentioned major influence on learning, mentioned by 85% of the 68%. Another 10% mentioned radio programs, and 7% Information leaflets and posters.
The fact that ‘Demonstration plots’ are leading as the most important intervention could be explained by the source of respondents: 90% of the respondents came from the N2Africa partner value chain (VC) project organizations. Demonstrations often come with a package of field days and if in strategic locations, can be observed by anyone having an interest or happens to pass by them.
After interventions, the question was asked ‘If you had to choose one major influence on your learning on the topics, what it would be as regards personal relation -interactions’.
On average 1.5 different interactions were mentioned. From my own experience was the most frequently mentioned interaction with a major influence on learning by 49% of the respondents for whom at least one interaction applied (97%). Another 34% mentioned extension officers, and 27% Neighbours, friends and family. On private sector chain actors, CBOs were mentioned by 15% of the respondents, 8% village-based advisors (VBAs), 7% Agro-dealers and 0.3% a private company.
The last question asked was ‘Would you like to receive other information on soyabeans or beans’. Most respondents (96%) wished to receive other information and on average 2 other topics were mentioned.
The top six topics mentioned were ‘quality seeds’, ‘markets’, ‘marketing’, ‘pesticide use’, ‘use the right variety’ and ‘use of chemical fertilizer’. Markets and marketing were more frequently mentioned by men than women, and if combined were mentioned by near half (42%) of the respondents.