What is the RIPAT’s impact and reasons behind?
The scientific documentation from the completed RIPAT projects verifies that the approach provides a key for unlocking the so far largely untapped agricultural potential among smallholder farmers; which shows:
- Increased levels of food security among participating farmers.
- Improved levels of nutrition among adults and children
- Sustained adoption of most of the agricultural technologies promoted
- Diffusion of the most popular technologies to non-participant farmers in the local communities.
Some reasons behind the good results
- Free choice from a ‘basket of options’
- Each farmer to belong to a strong farmers’ group contributes to an increased sense of empowerment among the farmers – especially among female farmers. It also increases the farmers’ bargaining power with more knowledge about and a say in agricultural matters.
- The vast majority of established RIPAT groups continue to work together after project completion.
- The organizational management structure around RIPAT i.e. a management structure which entails both joint experiential learning in groups, a pragmatic combination of traditional and participatory extension approaches, and a strong focus on integrating both local needs, resources and conditions of small-scale farmers as well as involving local governmental authorities into the intervention design.