The PIP approach was introduced to staff at Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) in December 2017 by a team from Burundi. PIP groups were consequently created in two districts: Kirehe in the Eastern province and Nyamagabe in the Southern province. The trained RAB staff conducted trainings to the farmer innovators (FI) on the PIP approach. The first generation of PIP members are currently analyzing their impact.
The PIP approach was used to disseminate forage technologies among farmers using sustainable methods; this approach includes planning of integrated activities related to cop, livestock, soil conservation, marketing and other activities that generate household revenue. Farmers discovered that for the entire household to own the plan and its implementation, each member should be involved in the planning of activities instead of a plan made singularly by the household head. The three aims of PIP are planning, implementation and integration.
RAB staff recently organized visits to each PI’s households to assess the implementation progress in both districts. After each field visit, farmers and RAB staff discussed ways in which they could improve and spoke on future plans that would contribute towards achieving their targets.
During a visit to PIP members in Nyamagabe and Kirehe districts, members of RAB discovered that the trainings and regular follow up have improved the PIs understanding in crops and livestock production which resulted into increased production. The PIs in most cases use the income from crops and livestock production to invest in new development projects like housing and household equipment.
A notable conclusion was that the PIP members who continued to implement their plans have so far achieved good results and they are committed to deliver according to their plans they have made. The RAB team will continue to conduct regular follow up and monitoring to encourage farmers to stay oriented to their goals. PIP members requested trainings on crop production, especially on banana, common beans, fruit and vegetables, as well as compost technique to help them achieve their new undertakings related to crop production.