Farmers’ organisations: capitalising on experiences in Eastern Africa

Since 2016, CTA has been supporting the implementation of experience capitalisation processes around the world; this is where an experience is identified, validated and documented, leading to learning and identification of good practices which can then be adapted, improved and adopted by others and scaled up.

In Eastern Africa, CTA’s Capitalization of Experiences for Greater Impact in Rural Development project has involved training farmers’ organisations, such as the Uganda National Farmer Federation, to undertake experience capitalisation processes. The aim was to not only discuss the concepts behind the capitalisation approach, but to also improve sharing and adoption of lessons learned and good practices. The ultimate goal was that each organisation would work with colleagues back home and complete the process within a few months to implement recommendations.

Experience Capitalization: Learning from Farmer Organisations is a collection of 13 case studies from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda that highlight the challenges and successes of development projects aimed at farmer organisations. It explains where improvements to the initiatives can be made. Smallholder organisation, Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania, detail their project to introduce improved land management practices and create awareness of how climate-smart approaches could be used to help mitigate the most serious effects of climate change. One of the lessons they highlight was that more days need to be made available to train less capable farmers before trees can begin to be planted, which is done to rejuvenate water sources and to limit soil erosion. Another case study looks at the use of trade fairs by the Kenyan Livestock Producers Association to promote business linkages between farmers, manufacturers and suppliers. The recommendations from this experience capitalisation process included hosting the fairs in more central locations in Kenya and using television and radio broadcasts to attract new farmers and exhibitors.

The report is aimed at farmers’ organisations that are looking to improve their development initiatives. CTA hopes the lessons shared and presented in this publication will be put into practice and adopted on a broader scale, and used to refine future initiatives. For Gian Nicola Francesconi, CTA Senior Technical Advisor for Cooperative Agribusiness Development, “The experience capitalisation process will be complete when these stories are shared, and when the main recommendations are adopted or taken up by other organisations in East Africa, and in other regions.”

For more information:

Alex Miller

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.