Often, a major challenge is getting the results of agricultural research off the shelves and out into farmer’s fields. Effective technology transfer mechanisms are essential, not just between researchers and farmers, but between farmers and other farmers.
In order to enhance the dissemination and uptake of the improved technologies, ICARDA and its partners developed and enhanced participatory technology transfer methodologies and approaches which took into account the specificity of individual countries. They also used a wide range of information tools and means to disseminate and communicate information to project stakeholders. The dissemination approaches applied are:
- Mass dissemination approach – applied in Egypt
Involves implementing, within a given site/village, the highest possible number of demonstration plots in farmer fields in order to cover different areas, types of soils, and irrigation water management systems. Every plot is supervised by a village-based extension agent working under the supervision of the Governorate. In addition, every 8-10 fields are closely supervised by a researcher from the project team, which involves improvement specialists, pathologists and soil scientists/plant nutritionists.
- Leading and satellite (clustered) farmers approach – applied in Morocco and Tunisia
This approach is based on selecting leading progressive farmers in a given area. In the fields of the selected leading farmers, a full improved wheat production package is demonstrated on large plots, or ‘platforms.’ Around each platform, a group of 8-10 satellites farms are selected – each (clustered) receiving training and advice on wheat improvement technologies.
- Multi-tool dissemination approach – applied in Algeria, Jordan, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq
This approach is based on the classical technology transfer methodology: a limited number of demonstration plots conducted under farmer conditions and distributed randomly across a given area/site. Farmers’ Field Schools (FFSs), field days, and travelling workshops are the main tools to disseminate and popularize improved technologies.