Going beyond PREA (Participatory Research and Extension Approach)

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After two seasons of implementing N2Africa activities in Malawi, the team changed the dissemination approach for sustainability purposes. Previously, the team already worked with the PREA (Participatory Research and Extension Approach) in which N2Africa staff trained Lead/Master Farmers who in turn trained satellite farmers in legume technologies. Now, the team has modified the PREA, empowering Lead Farmers to train School teachers and students in legume technologies.

Why using schools? We believe that using schools has the power to increase the adoption rate of the technologies because each student will not only use the technology to compliment what he or she learns in the subject of agriculture, but also imparts the knowledge to his or her parents. In addition, N2Africa intends to build a future agricultural oriented generation through imparting practical hands-on legume technologies skills. Involving schools is one way of ensuring that the BNF technologies are reaching out to the communities and are utilized sustainably. The partners involved in distributing soyabean seed to schools are Kasungu Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Dowa World Vision. In Dowa the soyabean seed was distributed to primary schools and in Kasungu to both primary and secondary schools.

Figure 1: Godwin Chihana, a Student, explaining the technologies at the demonstration plots to the farmers and fellow students during the field day

Figure 2: The Head teacher, Anthony Jere, standing next to the Lead Farmer, Agnes Nyoka (in blue clothes)

Figure 3: Bartholomew Chataika explaining to the students on BNF technologies for Soyabean legume crop

During a field day in Kasungu, participants visited Milenje Community Day Secondary School. Here, Agnes Nyoka, a Lead Farmer in one of farmer clubs in the area, imparted skills on soyabean production practices to staff and students. During the field day, two students explained the N2Africa Soyabean production practices with a practical demonstration plot. The students had established this plot under the leadership of the Lead Farmer. The field day was a real field school, as more questions from the students about soyabean production were answered by the Extension Officers that were present from the N2Africa Secretariat, Kasungu CRS, Malawi Government and other partners.

Gloria Kasongo and Barthlomew Chataika