Impact Assessment

Commercial Farmer to Farmer Ag Extension Services, Peru, Practical Action, 2005

    Practical Action has worked since 1997 in remote areas of the Andes in Peru to develop the market for agricultural and livestock extension services that reach the rural poor. Neither public nor private extension systems have successfully reached the remote mountain areas of the former Incan Empire, where resource-poor farmers struggle against physical isolation, inadequate access to resources, and a climate so extreme it can bring drought, floods, frost, and hail all within one growing season. In this context, Practical Action has revived an ancient tradition of the Kamayoq, a technical adviser on weather and crops. Practical Action has established Kamayoq training centers offering foundational training and continuing information and support such as refresher courses and a radio program to build technical capacity of these community-based consultants. The Kamayoq earn a living selling inputs, such as veterinary products, and providing technical advice, which farmers pay for in cash and kind. To date the center has trained 140 Kamayoq, who have served three thousand farming families.

    Summary of results
    The success of the Kamayoq model can be seen at different levels:
    - The increased and/or sustained demand for the technical advice by farmers
    - The demand from Kamayoq for refresher and new training
    - Uptake of the Kamayoq approach by other organisations.

    The paper to the right discusses specific quantitative and qualitative results at the level of farmers, Kamayoq and replication of the model. Challenges for the future of the Kamayoq model are also outlined.