Farmers Groups As Drivers for Agricultural and Rural Development

Mang’u Ward VBA Group

Farmer groups are considered instrumental for social and economic purposes. They are formed to maximize the efficiency of agricultural production by disseminating newly developed technologies to farmers as well as setting up common goals and developing new strategies. Maximizing agricultural outputs is very crucial in a country like Kenya because it is one of the major sources of  GDP growth. In recent years, the private sector and NGOs have been increasing their adoption of the Farmer-Group Approach. The predisposition to groups is driven by the challenges farmers encounter in their farming activities and day-to-day lives. Through farmers’ groups, farmers have been able to benefit immensely in terms of agricultural production, household welfare, and social-economic status. This has been observed through:

Accessing extension information. The Public extension delivery system has been constrained due to the high ratio of extension officers to farmers and this has necessitated farmers to form groups where they can be trained easily by fewer extension officers on the ground and also seek extension services from the private sector, NGOs and other agricultural-related agencies. By working with farmers’ groups, extension agents can get more insight into farmers’ conditions, problems, and needs. This way, they can better prepare their extension activities and also conduct follow-ups easily. Examples of programs working with farmers’ groups include NARIGP a government project that aims at increasing agricultural productivity and profitability through training and working with farmers’ groups in different selected value chains,