Journal of
Agricultural Extension and Rural Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Agric. Ext. Rural Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2170
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAERD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 352

Full Length Research Paper

Assessing the farmer field school’s diffusion of knowledge and adaptation to climate change by smallholder farmers in Kiboga District, Uganda

David Mfitumukiza
  • David Mfitumukiza
  • Makerere University Centre for Climate Change Research and Innovations, P. O. Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda.
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Bernard Barasa*
  • Bernard Barasa*
  • Makerere University Centre for Climate Change Research and Innovations, P. O. Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda.
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Ann Marie Nankya
  • Ann Marie Nankya
  • Department of Forestry, Biodiversity and Tourism, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda.
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Nabwire Dorothy
  • Nabwire Dorothy
  • The Hunger Project, Uganda, P. O. Box 26393 Kampala, Uganda.
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Abbo Hellen Owasa
  • Abbo Hellen Owasa
  • The Hunger Project, Uganda, P. O. Box 26393 Kampala, Uganda.
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Babu Siraj
  • Babu Siraj
  • The Hunger Project, Uganda, P. O. Box 26393 Kampala, Uganda.
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Kato Gerald
  • Kato Gerald
  • The Hunger Project, Uganda, P. O. Box 26393 Kampala, Uganda.
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  •  Received: 09 October 2016
  •  Accepted: 03 March 2017
  •  Published: 31 May 2017

Abstract

Farmer Field Schools (FFS) can empower farmers through meetings at demonstration sites to promote agricultural production because of discovery learning. This study empirically investigated the FFS’s diffusion of knowledge and its impact on the smallholder farmer’s adaptation to climate change in Kiboga district characterised by low rainfall pattern. A cross-sectional research design was adopted where a total of 120 FFS-members and 60 non-FFS-members were randomly selected and interview using a validated household survey questionnaire. Data was analysed through descriptive statistics and Chi-test (2) to the relationship between the FFS and the member’s adaptation to climate change. The findings revealed that drought, hailstorms, changes in onset and cessation of seasons were the main seasonal manifestations of climate change experienced in the district. The FFS majorly diffused adaptation knowledge and skills through establishment of comparative studies (28%); establishment of commercial enterprises (21%) and training of the members (18%); distribution of inputs to the FFS (10), examination of performances of distributed inputs (8%), FFS exchange-visits (6%), graduation of FFS members (4%), field days (3%) and integration of village savings into FFS (2%) throughout the seasonal calendar.The FFS-members aggressively adapted to the manifestations of climate change through the application of micro-irrigation, early planting, mulching, seed multiplication, the sale of livestock, construction of barns and planting of drought-tolerant crop and pasture varieties during the eventualities on their farmlands. The FFS significantly contributed to the adaptation to climate change (drought and shifts in seasons) by the smallholder farmers (p<0.05) throughout the season in the study area.The FFS enabled the farmers to validate and adopt new technologies in their fields that were a success. The FFS-members increased their innovations and use of local resources in adaptation to climate change. The FFS’s promotion of adaptation options to climate change improves the farmer’s seasonal food security status.

Key words: Climate change, farmer field schools, smallholder farmers, diffusion.