Training farmers in Africa: Why do we do it?
Why is it so important for Biovision to train farmers in Africa? Surely, farmers are the best judge of what they have to do? After all, their current practices are based on knowledge and experience built up over many years and adapted to local conditions.
Peter Lüthi, Communication
In the past, farmers in Africa managed with strategies and methods gathered and developed over many generations. If the underlying conditions changed, they normally had enough time to adapt.
Today, change often occurs very quickly, particularly in Africa. Pressure on arable and grazing land has grown rapidly following increases in the population and the more intensive use of land. This puts a constant strain on poor soils and sensitive pastures, making targeted adaptations and new methods essential. Traditional knowledge is no longer sufficient. For example, climate change is causing rainfall levels to fluctuate, which pushes local people to the limit of what they can achieve.
New solutions are required
There is a need for more research and development into new strategies that strengthen resilience to rapid change without damaging natural resources. In addition, knowledge must be transferred to the farmers actually working the land.
Biovision has been working on such solutions in East Africa for many years through its well-established “Farmer Communication Programme”. Farmers are provided with the latest information on ecological methods of cultivation through personal advice, training courses, farming magazines, radio programmes and the Internet,