Farmer Research Networks (FRN) is a participatory approach aimed at supporting the agroecological intensification of smallholder farming. FRN was envisaged in Latin America and Africa, however, little has been documented on how the application of FRN principles influences adoption of agricultural technologies. Guided by networking, innovation systems and Roger’s theories of diffusion of innovations, this research assessed how the application of three principles, that is, 1) farmer participation, 2) usefulness of on-farm research, and 3) collaboration amongst players in networks influenced the adoption of improved groundnuts. Cross sectional mixed research methods were used. Findings show that farmers participated in forming FRN groups, the production of Quality Declared Seeds and the provision of farmer-to-farmer extension services. On-farm research was instrumental for observational and experimental research whereby farmers were able to see, learn, and adopt the innovation. Players collaborate through joint research, learning, and sharing of knowledge and resources; farmers’ field days; and project meetings. It is concluded that farmers participated in conducting on-farm research and collaborated with different players in the network, indicating that FRN principles were applied to influence the adoption of improved groundnuts. The study recommends farmer participation in preliminary meetings and strengthening the linkage between farmers and more actors.
Key words: FRN principles, participation, on-farm research, collaboration, adoption of improved groundnut cultivars, Singida Tanzania.
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