The Agricultural Productivity Programme for Southern Africa (APPSA) worked with a total of 41,300 lead farmers in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia who conveyed technologies, innovations, and management practices to their fellow farmers in their respective communities benefiting more than 750,000 households.
Launched in 2013, APPSA was a six-year project supported by the World Bank to promote a regional approach to agricultural technology generation and dissemination in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia. The Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) coordinated implementation of the project. The project in the three countries ended in January 2020, but it is active in Angola and Lesotho for six years, commencing 2020.
APPSA generates and disseminates technologies to farmers within and among participating countries in southern Africa. APPSA builds capacity of host national research and development (R&D) systems and enhances regional collaboration.
The major challenge facing agriculture is how to ensure that newly developed technologies and management practices reach farmers to improve productivity and production on their farms. To address this challenge, APPSA facilitated the public research and extension systems of the participating countries to work with the lead farmers who are a link to the general farming community on promoting technologies generated by the project.
A Lead Farmer is an innovative and successful farmer, normally selected by the community to lead on various agriculture-related activities including hosting trainings for fellow farmers on agriculture methods and technologies. S/he is in constant touch with research and extension agents to update themselves on the new technologies for demonstration to the farming community.
Under APPSA the lead farmers established more than of 5,000 demonstration plots on various technologies and management practices and hosted more than 3,000 field days during the 6-year project period. The objectives of the field days were to showcase the improved technologies or techniques and the results generated based on the demonstrations promoted with APPSA support. A total of 7,968 seed and food fairs were conducted. Food fairs focused at value addition to legumes, maize and rice grain and APPSA promoted seed varieties among the farming communities and the private sector for seed multiplication so that they can be readily available and accessible to the farmers.
For more details please click the following link to download and read the success story regarding this topic: ccardesa.org