In past Trias programmes that used ERI in Uganda, the following benefits were observed:
- ERI sparked off an empowerment process that created much needed self-confidence and critical thinking in all members of a farmer group (including the more vulnerable youth and women and not just the more educated leaders of a group). As a result, farmer groups became more coherent and agreed on a common vision. In a further stage, several farmer groups joined hands and formed small farmer group associations of which some registered as cooperatives; some with more than 200 members.
- Farmers’ business attitude, knowledge and skills improved resulting in improved production and productivity, better quality of produce, better trade relations (often with contracts and long term commitments), better prices and thus increased incomes. Farmer groups started to function as business entities that can respond adequately to the changing environment (dynamic markets, changing prices,…).
- Due to farmers̕ ability to generate more income, to save more and to produce business plans, micro-finance institutions and SACCOs became more willing to provide appropriate financial services to groups trained in ERI. In one case, a SACCO started to pay for ERI trainings to farmers because of the resulting increase in savings. More information on this can be found here and here.
Additionally, there was also a tremendous change in the trainers who were equipped with skills to train and coach farmers in ERI: apart from being able to facilitate participative processes within a farmer group, many of them became very committed, business-oriented and solution-focused.
In a qualitative data collection during field visits in HORIZONT3000’s ERI EA Project, some farmers explained how they benefited from participating in ERI programs. The stories from four farmers from YARD were compiled and can be found here.
Further interesting evaluation reports and videos can be found under publications.