Social networks and smallholder conservation agriculture in East Africa
Moore, Keith M.
Lamb, Jennifer N.
Ashilenje, Dennis S.
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Scaling up conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS) for smallholders requires facilitating a change in mindset within a supporting network of agricultural production partners. Entering into the dialogue necessary to achieve these changes depends on the capacity of CAPS promoters to interact and communicate effectively with the existing network of farmers, agricultural service sector providers, and community agents. Effectively negotiating these interactions to create innovative ways to integrate the three conservation agriculture principles (reduced tillage, maintaining a permanent crop cover, and crop rotations) into local production practices will require: (1) an understanding of the current (local and scientific) knowledge and perspectives concerning best agricultural norms and practices; and (2) identifying the relevant actors and their resource and communication channels in the local agricultural production network. As a contribution to building this communicative competence, this paper presents findings from the study of four local networks involved in CAPS research in Kenya and Uganda.