Integrated Production and Pest Management Programme in Africa
Photo: ©FAO/Olivier Asselin

The Integrated Production and Pest Management Programme, employing a farmer field school approach, has been an instrumental partner helping to improve linkages both horizontally and vertically within the mosaic of stakeholders.


Kingdom of the Netherlands

The decline of large, state-owned extension systems in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decades reflected a shift in donor attention away from support to agriculture, with subsequent loss of previously supported financing. However, the alarming spikes in food prices in 2008 re-focused global attention on the importance of supporting development in the agricultural sectors of developing countries. Yet rather than reinvent these large bureaucratic extension systems of the past, donors and governments have been experimenting with new models for agricultural extension.

Over the past two decades, with the decline in national extension system models, a mosaic of local and national stakeholders has emerged to take up many of the extension tasks, although coverage is often geographically spotty and technically incomplete. The mix of actors varies by country, but generally includes government agencies, NGOs, farmer organizations and the private sector.

In this context the Integrated Production and Pest Management Programme (IPPM), employing a farmer field school (FFS) approach, has been an instrumental partner helping to improve linkages both horizontally and vertically within the mosaic of stakeholders. The IPPM programme does not seek to promote FFS as a replacement for existing extension systems, but aims to work with the existing mix of partners at all levels to help facilitate progress towards the goals of national and regional food security and development.

National government partners. The programme initiates in partnership with the ministries of agriculture and the environment and with national directions of agriculture and agencies for crop protection. Programme steering committees may also include ministries of health and trade.

NGO partners. Regional and national NGOs play an important role in coordinating the design and execution of village-level surveys, and assist with data management and impact monitoring of FFS distributed across the countries and regions.

Farmer organization partners. Farmer organizations (FO) are becoming key partners in helping to institutionalize the FFS approach, particularly large FOs such as, the Union Nationale de Producteurs de Coton du Burkina Faso and the Fédération Nationale des Maraichers des Niayes in Senegal.

Local partners. An important set of partnerships has emerged recently with the involvement of local political bodies that bring together representatives of FOs, businesses and district-level representatives of government, including extension services. This helps to create a chorus of support for the programme at the higher national levels.

Development project partners. A growing list of national and regional donor projects is engaging in partnerships within the various country programmes in order to access the growing networks of farmer facilitators and alumni farmer groups. In this way, the IPPM programme is helping to reinforce a collective extension system that is capable of acting as a service provider for new initiatives that will arrive from donors.

For a comprehensive list of partners of the IPPM programme, refer to the individual regional or country projects