The Role of Farmers’ Research Group to Promote Improved Technologies in Jimma and Illuababora Zones, Ethiopia

The Open Agriculture Journal 07 Aug 2014 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874331501408010018


Often driven by food security and market forces, farmers in Ethiopia have been innovating for centuries. However, innovation developments like FRGs have started to tap into the existing social systems only in the last few years. Similarly, there was no comprehensive study conducted on potato FRGs in the study areas. This paper is an output of research result, which analyzed the role of local innovations to promote improved potato technologies. Data was collected using semi-structured interview schedule involving 162 sample household heads. The result indicated that FRG participants were better involved in problem identification, prioritization, variety evaluation and dissemination than nonmembers were. Some of the major constraints identified from the assessment include weak linkage among stakeholders, high expectation for material incentive and poor participation of farmers in innovation system. The result also revealed that among fifteen independent variables tested, age of household heads, experience in potato farming, education level and extension service showed significant difference at 1% significant level whereas on-farm income, number of extension contact, farm distance and off-farm income showed significant difference at 10% significant level. However, the rest were insignificant. Hence, FRG approaches have assisted to improve the participation of clients in research and development activity. However, substantial support is required from stakeholders in order to improve linkage and broaden its scope.

Keywords: FRGs, Innovation, Potato, Stakeholders.
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