Farmer to farmer interpersonal communication in agroforestry innovation dissemination in Sulawesi, Indonesia
Farmer to farmer interpersonal communication in agroforestry innovation dissemination in Sulawesi, Indonesia.wca2014-1190 Endri Martini 1,*James M. Roshetko 1Enggar Paramita 2 1South East Asia (TAMMU Unit), 2South East Asia (Communication Unit), World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Bogor, Indonesia
During the past 35 years, research in agroforestry has evolved significantly. However in many countries the dissemination of agroforestry information and innovation is constrained due to a lack of extension agents knowledgeable of agroforestry issues. In countries like Indonesia, where smallholder livelihoods are dependent on agroforestry production systems, the dissemination of relevant agroforestry innovations is essential to reducing poverty and ensuring food security. Farmer-to-farmer communication is a possible alternative method of disseminating agroforestry innovations when there is a lack of extension agent in the agroforestry sector. To evaluate the potential of the farmer-to-farmer communication, a study was conducted in November 2012 and April 2013 to identify and understand village-level communication systems. Semi structured interviews of 146 farmers (40% female) in two districts in South Sulawesi province and two districts in Southeast Sulawesi province were combined with qualitative analysis of agroforestry farmer field school activities. Based on the study, farmer-to-farmer interpersonal communication is crucial to the dissemination of agroforestry innovation, particularly in places where: (a) language becomes a barrier for information dissemination; (b) the level of formal education is low; and (c) under-developed infrastructure (road, electricity, phone signal, etc) limits the free flow of information. Results also specify that lead farmers are the key actors in developing and supporting quality farmer-to-farmer interpersonal communication. The capacity of lead farmers should be enhanced by: (a) improving their information networking to ensure access to accurate information on agroforestry innovations, and (b) improving their linkage to the local government agencies. Supports from multistakeholders (government, research centres and NGOs) in establishing an information centre or forum where lead farmer can consult their problems and update new information will enhance farmer-to-farmer role in agroforestry innovation dissemination.