Engaging with farmers through combining participatory research and extension efforts targeting production and marketing.
Led by the University of California, Davis with funding from USAID's Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Program (Hort CRSP), this project aims to connect smallholder farmers to horticultural markets by combining two participatory extension approaches: the Farmer Field School and the Participatory Market Chain Approach. The Hort CRSP project is accomplished by a diverse group of Ugandan and US partners who have designed and conduct these programs as well as guide monitoring and evaluation activities. Our partners include local village students recently graduated from high school to undergraduate and graduate students from Uganda's premier universities, extension agents, government agricultural researchers, community leaders, and the more than 400 farmers involved in our project. At all levels of the project, partners are blending project implementation and research to identify best practices and contribute to development studies. We find that the most innovative and targeted approaches often cross disciplines and lead to dynamic collaborations among project partners.