This paper presents the experiences of using farmer participatory research to develop and transfer cassava production technologies to maintain soil productivity, reduce erosion and increase farmers' incomes. The research was conducted over a five year period in two districts of East Java: Blitar and Malang. A Rapid Rural Appraisal was initially used, in which farmers identified problems and proposed potential solutions. The results demonstrate that farmers understood low crop productivity was partly due to improper land management and they knew how to implement soil conservation practices. However, they did not adopt the technology properly because it was too costly and complicated. When farmers became aware that this was not the case, they developed demonstration plots to test some of the technologies, including erosion control practices, fertilizer application and the introduction of new cassava varieties. During the course of the project, the number of farmers adopting the soil conservation practices in their own fields significantly increased. The study found that the farmer participatory research approach increased the self-confidence of farmers, motivated them to actively obtain new knowledge about technologies and increased their willingness and ability to try them.
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Utomo W.H., Suyamto, and Sinaga A
In 'Cassava's potential in Asia in the 21st century: present situation and future research and development needs.' Proceedings of Sixth Regional Workshop, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, 21-25 February 2000', ed. by R.H. Howeler and S.L. Tan. Pp. 424-435