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Management advice for family farms : an extension process to help farmers of North Cameroon meet up challenges of professionalization

Djamen Nana P., Havard M.. 2003. In : Cristovao Artur (ed.), Omodei Zorini Luigi (ed.). Farming and rural systems research and extension : local identities and globalisation. Rome : Agenzia Regionale per lo Sviluppo e l'Innovazione nel settore Agricolo e forestale, p. 585-593. European IFSA Symposium. 4, 2002-04-08/2002-04-11, Florence (Italie).

In North Cameroon, the existing agricultural extension approach failed to consider the farm unit as a whole. Their focus was on the extension of new production techniques, paying less attention to the management pattern of these farms. With the current trend to a liberal economy, farmers whose management practices are still rudimentary, are called upon to move towards a more professional attitude in view of improving the efficiency of their farm exploitation. There is therefore a need to complement extension approach. This concern has led to the elaboration and implementation of a smooth and progressive Management Advise for Family Farms (MAFF) process. MAFF was designed and tested since 1998 by the Institute of Research for Agricultural Development (IRAD) within the frame work of the "Pôle Régional de Recherche Appliquée au Développement des Savanes d'Afrique Centrale (PRASAC)" and collaboration of the "Projet Développement Paysannal et Gestion de Terroir (DPGT)". Aimed at strengthening the farmer's decision making capacity, it moves from training on basic management (Year I) to an individual advise (Year III) through technico - economic analyses (Year II). During the first two years, farmers have been trained to diagnosis and basic management. Also, some extension and experimentation operations were carried out. Preliminary results show an improvement in farmers' behaviour who are progressively integrating measure, quantification and forecasting in their practices. As implemented, MAFF appears as a process to introduce farmers to the management cycle.

Mots-clés : gestion de l'exploitation agricole; prise de décision; exploitation agricole familiale; cameroun; conseil de gestion; cameroun nord

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