What We've Learned
Lessons from our Projects
TechnoServe’s projects yield a wealth of lessons that can help us – and others – improve our work. Through this interactive platform, we share succinct insights from our projects every year, in order to build on this knowledge for even greater impact in the future.
Select a technical field below to see the lessons we have learned from our work, and click the links to learn more.
Messaging technology like WhatsApp can be an efficient way to aggregate demand for inputs among smallholder farmers and communicate with dealers.
Production timelines and crop suitability can vary significantly even within the same state, so it is important to understand local microclimates and conduct localized soil testing.
Improving farmers’ access to inputs requires a supply-and-demand approach that simultaneously:
- Develops better distribution channels
- Builds commercial demand for the products among farmers by clearly explaining their benefits.
Programs should provide training on handling coffee seedlings, because poor nursery practices often lead to defective roots, limiting the productivity of trees.
Farmers who rent land from others are reluctant to make investments for soil conservation and other climate-smart practices, as they don't know how long they will be able to rent that land. Helping farmers negotiate longer lease terms from landowners can help mitigate this problem.
Community seed banks are more likely to succeed and continue operating when they are linked to a producer organization and have access to an irrigation system.
As climate change makes rainfall more erratic, training on soil conservation, shade management, and rainwater capture become increasingly important.
Often, farmers don't track how much they feed their animals, so underfeeding and overfeeding are rampant. Bringing a scale to training so farmers can see if they are deviating from the recommended amounts is an effective tool to combat this.
Because soils often lose minerals due to intensive cropping, cattle fodder needs to be supplemented with mineral mixtures. While this represents an extra expense, the return on investment is high.
One of the major drags on milk productivity is the poor quality of artificial cattle insemination services provided by private firms. Training farmers to ask the right questions of these providers and check their work leads to better services and improved yields.