How best to help smallholder farmers to access information and advice they need to increase their productivity is an unsolved puzzle. Work led by the World Agroforestry Centre and the International Livestock Research Institute with support from the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and other partners in East Africa showed that volunteer farmer trainers (VFTs) can be successful agents of change. VFTs are highly effective, training on average 20 farmers per month; they have an in-depth knowledge of local conditions, culture, and practices; and they live in the community, speak the same language, and instill confidence in their fellow farmers.
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IFPRI. 2016. Extension services in Rwanda take up the volunteer farmer trainer approach. PIM Outcome Note. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). http://ebrary.ifpri.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15738coll2/id/130728