Agronomy and Horticulture Department



Date of this Version



Agronomy Journal. 2020;112:5325–5333.


2020 The Authors.


This forum paper provides a synthesis and discussion of 14 categories of lessons learned from experiences for achieving farm-level impact with smallholder farm- ers in Africa. These lessons were reported in a symposium hosted by the Agron- omy in Africa community of the American Society of Agronomy. The lessons, listed in order of frequency of reporting, were the need to: have adequate infras- tructure and services; enable spontaneous adoption; have multi-disciplinary and institutional collaboration; build on previous adoption of good agronomic practices (GAP); have farmer participation in research; encourage and learn from smallholder adaptations; make GAP promotion demand-driven; allow GAP choices; address challenges and trade-offs to GAP adoption; enable GAP-by-GAP adoption; reconcile conflicting messages; offer adequate profit potential with acceptable risk; reduce labor needs, especially for women; and build capacity for farming system improvement along the chain from farmer to research. The lessons are discussed and conclusions are reported.