International Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
International Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development ISSN 3254-5428 Vol. 5 (3), pp. 545-555, March, 2017. © International Scholars Journals
Full Length Research Paper
Field schools and plant clinics: Effective agricultural extension approaches to fight the coconut lethal yellowing disease and improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Grand-Lahou, Côte d’Ivoire
1Kouamé Daniel Kra*, 1Taky Hortense Atta Diallo, 1Marie Noël Toualy, 1Koffi Eric Kwadjo, 2Koulou Epse Yoboua Nazaret, 1Yadom Yao François Regis Kouakou, 1Assiri Elloh Patrice Kouamé, 1Koutoua Séka, 1Bognan Winnie Miyasi Ouattara, 1Jonas Guei Ibo, 3Jean Louis Konan Konan, 4Yaima Arocha Rosete
1Université Nangui Abrogoua, 02 BP 801 Abidjan 02, Côte d'Ivoire,
2Agence Nationale d’Appui au Développement Rural (ANADER), BPV 183 Abidjan, Rue du chevalier De Clieu, Abidjan-Marcory, Côte d’Ivoire,
3Station de Recherche “Marc Delorme”, Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), 07 BP 13 Abidjan 07, Côte d'Ivoire.,
4Sporometrics, 219 Dufferin Street, Suite 20C, Toronto, ON M6K 3J1, Canada.
Received 12 June, 201; Revised 03 January, 2017; Accepted 31 January, 2017 and Published 12 March, 2017
Field schools and plant clinics are key extension tools to fight the lethal yellowing disease of coconut that is severely impacting the livelihoods of thousands of smallholder farmers in Grand-lahou, Côte d’Ivoire. Field schools have trained 1,960 men and women farmers on coconut farming, marketing and disease management. Six Women Groups have been created to support women in establishing cassava yards as an alternative food and cash crop. Plant clinics have mobilized circa 600 producers that are willing to pay consultation services to plant doctors. Young farmers foresee plant doctors as a new local job source. The number and diversity of coconut products sold by women farmers through Women Coconut Fairs increased 64% from 2015 to 2016 enabling women to sell and marketing, and to identify small business opportunities. Sex-disaggregated surveys revealed the main gender issues and major constraints associated with the coconut production chain in Grand-Lahou. Field schools and plant clinics are effective approaches to engage farmers, stakeholders and policy makers, and to empower women. These may be also the most suitable platforms to discuss and encourage the implementation of low-cost local interventions on behalf of the farming community.
Keywords: Agricultural extension, coconut lethal yellowing, Côte d’Ivoire, field schools, plant clinics.
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