ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0480.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: push-pull technology; stemborers; stakeholder interaction; social learning; Ethiopia
Online: 22 October 2018 (08:18:22 CEST)
Stemborer pests contribute to significant maize crop yield loses incurred by the smallholder famers in Ethiopia. The problem requires requires concerted effort to learn and adopt new innovations to find a long lasting solution. In this study, the on-farm implementation of the push-pull technology (PPT) was used as a platform for interaction and enhancing the social learning among the stakeholders in the maize growing Woredas of Bako Tibe, Jimma Arjo and Yayu in the Oromia region. The main stakeholders were the smallholder maize farmers, researchers and the extension staffs. The study took place between August 2014 to May 2015. The PPT is a biological based strategy addresses the stemborer pest problem in maize crop. Under the strategy, maize crop is intercropped with a stemborer moth repellent fodder legume, Desmodium (the push) together with an attractant trap plant, Napier/Brachiaria grass (the pull) planted around maize-legume intercrop. The study was implemented based on the transdisciplinary action research approach and qualitative data collected during focus group discussions, key informant interviews, stakeholder workshops, participant observations and on-farm PPT demonstrations. The findings show that, the involvement of different stakeholders in joint PPT activities in an interactive environment is an innovation in itself. It creates opportunities for the stakeholders’ empowerment as well as deliberating on the contributions from each other to overcome uncertainties about the technology and create new knowledge. The intercropping strategy of maize with Desmodium and Napier/Brachiaria is used to reintroduce the traditional mixed cropping system of smallholder agriculture as strategy for control of pests.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0062.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Decision Sciences Keywords: collaboration; leadership; push-pull technology; sustainability; transdisciplinary research; Ethiopia
Online: 5 April 2018 (04:47:49 CEST)
Transdisciplinary research approach requires that different scientists with their discipline-specific theories, concepts and methods find ways to work together with other societal players to solve a real-life problem. In order to put this into practice, Trans-disciplinary Action Research (TDR) approach was applied in this study using Push pull technology (PPT) as a boundary object. The study was conducted in Bako Tibe, Jimma arjo and Yayu Woredas (Districts) in the Oromia region of Ethiopia from August 2014 to April 2015. PPT is a biological based mechanism developed by researchers for stemborer pest control in maize. It involves inter-cropping maize with a stemborer moth-repellent silverleaf or Greenleaf Desmodium (push), and planting an attractive trap crop, Napier or Brachiaria grass (pull), around the maize crop. On farm PPT implementation was used to provide an opportunity for collaboration, interaction and learning among heterogeneous set of stakeholders comprising of researchers from Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural research and the practitioners from the ministry of agriculture and smallholder farmers/traders. The data was collected using mixed methods approach comprising of key informant interviews, Focus Group discussions, workshops, on-farm practical demonstrations and participant observations. The findings shows that; collaborative leadership provides a chance for the stakeholders to participate in the technology learning and decision making by enabling them to jointly contribute skills towards development, refinement and adaptation of PPT. In situations where there are conflicts, they are embraced and become opportunities for in-depth learning, finding solutions and adaptation rather than being sources of contradictions or misunderstandings. Leadership roles taken by farmers play a key role in terms of ability to reflect on their own practices and drawing on scientific explanations from researchers. It also enables them take lead in new technology implementation and information sharing in free and easy manner with fellow farmers and other stakeholders. Although PPT perennial nature of cropping provides opportunities for continuous stakeholder interaction and learning, it requires a personally committed leadership and formal institutional engagements for the sustainability of its activities spanning over several cropping seasons. Market forces and the involvement of private sector players also has a role to achieve this as shown from the involvement of individual farmers and traders in Desmodium and Brachiaria seed production, collection and distribution.