Assessment of the effectiveness of individual and group extension methods: a case study of Vi-Agroforestry project in Uganda
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Currently, in Uganda there is no well-defined forestry extension service despite the emphasis in the policy to establish extension services to assist farmers to grow their own trees. Many agricultural service providers have used group and individual methods to disseminate agroforestry technologies to farmers with varying degree of success. A study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of group and individual extension methods in delivering agroforestry technologies at Vi-Agroforestry project, Masaka district. Questionnaires were administered to nine randomly selected farmers who had received extension services from the project. Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs) were used in four villages. In addition, twelve project extension workers were interviewed. Project manuals and reports were also studied. Data were analysed using SPSS computer package and descriptive analysis. A statistical t-test was carried out to assess the influence of group and individual extension methods on farmers' adoption of agroforestry technologies. Group and individual methods were found to have varying degree of success on farmers’ implementation of agroforestry technologies (t = 3.55, p<0.05) from one household to another. In disseminating agroforestry technologies, group methods were found to be the most effective. Many farmers preferred group compared to individual method. Much as group methods were more effective, service providers should sustain both methods in order to address a variety of farmer characteristics.