The Village-Based Advisor approach thrives in Burundi

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The concept of Farmer Promoters was previously unknown in Burundi, but it is no longer novel, thanks to the Kugwiza Project—the name by which the AID-I GLR Project is known in Burundi. Today, Farmer Promoters—locally known as Village-Based Advisors (VBAs) or lead farmers—are commonplace, having been introduced by the project. These VBAs play a crucial role in mobilizing farmers. They introduce new crop varieties to farmers and guide them in establishing baby demonstration plots of different food-security crops, which the VBAs monitor subsequently. The leading-by-doing and facilitative roles VBAs play will likely outlive the project. It would likely thrive beyond the Kugwiza Project, thus boosting community social capital now and in the future.

VBA is an innovative approach that involves engaging lead farmers within the community to serve as role models and advisors on various agricultural and livestock practices. The VBAs, who are also farmers and opinion leaders in their villages, demonstrate effective farming techniques on their own plots.

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