Change induced by MAFF
In different countries where MAFF evaluations have been undertaken, farmers attributed several kinds of changes to MAFF that can be summarised under three categories:
- Agricultural techniques: new variety adoption, sowing techniques, compost use, crop rotation, etc.
- Farm management practices and family budget management practices: better measures of farm and family earning and expenses, profitability calculation, storage planning, cash flow planning.
- Strategic management: MAFF enables farmers to realise that they can change by themselves, anticipate, and have a better understanding of what they want, what they can do, and how they can do it.
MAFF can change the social relationships within families and villages because participants develop entrepreneurial skills at the individual level. MAFF also has an impact on non-participants because participants and non-participants exchange knowledge within their networks. However, the changes related to new managerial practices are more difficult to disseminate because non-participants do not experience a full learning process. MAFF is also an approach to strengthening producer organisations because some participants then become leaders in their producer or other organisation, which then gets the benefit of the management skills acquired through MAFF.
Conclusion: a gradual scaling up and scaling out
MAFF has been adopted by many actors and adapted to diverse contexts. However, there is a need to scale up and out the approach. Regarding scaling out, options include mobilising producer organisations and farmer-facilitators or improving coordination at regional level among advisory services providers in order to promote synergies.
Regarding scaling up, prospects include designing a mix of solutions to fund MAFF in the longer term and implementing suitable training mechanisms for advisory actors. However, public policies must better define the strategy regarding advisory services and the place of MAFF within the advisory system. Solutions need to be developed in conjunction with all stakeholders involved in MAFF: NGOs, producers, producer organisations, and local and national government).