The Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program (IPM CRSP) has been implementing IPM farmer field schools (FFS) with small scale farmers in Eastern Uganda since 2001. This study assesses the impact of cowpea-specific IPM FFS on IPM knowledge and the theoretical link between increased knowledge on the adoption of IPM strategies. The assessment was conducted to evaluate the impact of IPM FFS on adoption of IPM strategies. Comparison groups consisting of FFS participants and non participants were used to evaluate the impact of FFS on IPM knowledge and cowpea specific IPM strategies. A summated ratings scale consisting of five attributes was used to measure farmers’ knowledge of IPM and another summated scale consisting of five IPM strategies for cowpea was used to measure adoption. The results indicate that participation in FFS leads to more knowledge of IPM and knowledge of IPM is the most important variable in explaining adoption of IPM strategies. These results provide a confirmation of the adoption decision making process and a validation of FFS as an effective mechanism for increasing both knowledge of IPM and the adoption of cowpea specific IPM strategies. Farmers were more likely to adopt component strategies rather than the entire IPM package. The diffusion of IPM knowledge and strategies to farmers who did not participate in the FFS appears to have been limited.
Key words: technology transfer, farmer field schools (FFS), integrated pest management (IPM), adoption, Uganda
This work was made possible through support provided by the United States Agency International Development (USAID) under the terms of the Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program (IPM CRSP) (Award No. EPP-A-00-04-00016-00). The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Agency for International Development.