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PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTATION OF NAADS 49


groups (Table 4.5), which could hinder participation to the extent that the fees are not affordable by all farmers, especially poorer farmers. Later we test the effect of the factors just described on participation in the NAADS program using the household survey data.


Farmer Empowerment


Within the NAADS program, empowerment is meant to be more of a process than an event of making advisory services more responsive to farmers’ needs given their local production and market conditions. The process involves training to develop their capacity across several areas (discussed under “Farmer Institutional Capacity Development”) and participatory decisionmak- ing (discussed under “Participation in Group Activities”). Farmers then have to increasingly be able to demand and as well as manage the delivery of advi- sory services that meet their needs. To look at this aspect of empowerment, farmer groups were asked to give their opinion as to whether they felt more or less empowered since 2004 in expressing their views to subcounty authori- ties, including farmers’ forums, technical public officers, and political lead- ers. The results are shown in Table 4.6. Only a few of the groups (fewer than 20 percent) reported that they felt less empowered to express their views to various authorities. The largest proportion of groups reporting an increase in the level of empowerment was among those in the early NAADS subcounties stratum, followed by those in the intermediate NAADS subcounties stratum and those in the non-NAADS subcounties stratum. About one-third of the groups, on average, reported no change in their level of empowerment. Com- paring change in empowerment in dealing with the different authorities, the groups felt more empowered since 2004 to express their views to technical public officers, followed by the farmers’ forums and then political leaders (Table 4.6). This is encouraging because technical public officers are better placed than the other two groups of subcounty authorities considered here to address farmers’ agricultural production problems or other concerns that are not covered under the NAADS program.


To examine the feedback between authorities and farmers, the surveyed groups were also asked to indicate whether they felt there was an increase or reduction since 2004 in the responses they received from the different subcounty authorities to their requests or complaints (Table 4.7). Although the ratings here were less favorable than in the preceding analysis (i.e., in terms of the relative proportion reporting an increase versus those reporting a reduction or no change), most of the farmer groups felt there had been an increase in the responses of authorities to their requests or complaints. Over- all, these findings support the earlier hypothesis that participation in group activities has not been commensurate with the power it is supposed to bring


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