Increased adoption of regenerative practices by smallholder farmers: For this outcome a participative approach to decision-making and learning is taken. Peer-to-peer learning and support will be central. Building on existing social structures and making trainings needs-based, increases the likelihood that farmers will chose to be part of trials. The focus of outcome 1 is providing farmers with access to knowledge and training, areas that are often mentioned by farmers as main barriers to being able to implement practices .REALMS will work with local extension services and other service providers where possible. It is assumed that when peer-to-peer and needs-based learning are effective, in combination with increased access to affordable services under outcome 2, increasing numbers of farmers will choose to adopt regenerative practices. Although this assumption is not well researched, the approach does address underlying factors for willingness to adopt as well as main barriers to successful adoption of new practices by farmers. In other East-African SNV projects this connection between local SMEs and farmers have worked successfully (TIDE, KMDP). When adoption leads to economic benefits, such as reduced inputs, increased yields, better prices or increased soil quality, farmers will continue to practice regenerative agriculture. The connection between economic benefits and continued adoption of practices will be part of the REALMS learning agenda. Special attention will be provided to women and youth farmers, to ensure they are not only included in trainings, but are also able to benefit and possibly take leadership positions in trainings. This also calls for sensitisation of wider farmer study groups.
Three Key Indicators of Success of Outcome 1:
KPI 1: Increased number of farmers adopting regenerative farming solutions,
This KPI will track the number of farmers taking part in project activities that have moved to the adoption of regenerative farming solutions demonstrated by and included under REALMS activities. To further understand what they have adopted and to what extent they apply the particular practice, additional quantitative indicators (to be formulated in the project logframe) will look at (i) which solutions they have adopted and how many (from a provided list of pre-approved regenerative solutions), (ii) the number of hectares to which the solution is applied and (iii) the extent to which farmers intend to continue using these solutions for the next season.Moreover, it is envisioned that in addition to these quantitative KPIs, the REALMS logframe will include a qualitative KPI focusing on the reasoning for (dis)continuing the use of regenerative solutions, as this links to the key hypothesis of REALMS that farmers will continue to apply regenerative agricultural practices because they derive benefits from them. Appropriate qualitative methods could be interviews, focus group discussions and/or At inception phase, the target for KPI1 will be set. From experience, we estimate this number of farmers to likely be 50-60% of the total number of farmers reached. However, the baseline will provide sufficient information on the farmers we work with to be able to make an informed target. At inception phase, we will also decide on the cut-off point for the number of solutions we would expect farmers to apply. For SNV corporate harmonised indicators (standard indicators all projects need to report to), the minimum number of climate smart practices per farmers is set to 2. However, this will also depend on the kind of solutions that will be offered as some will require more investment (time, money) from a farmer or are more difficult to apply than others.
KPI 2. Number of hectares of farmland under regenerative solutions (disaggregated by: with and without improved soil organic matter), incl. as a percentage of total hectares of farmland reached,
This KPI will focus on assessing the number of hectares with increased soil quality due to the application of regenerative solutions. It will do this by looking into soil organic carbon that can be measured via testing soil samples. According to the IPCC (2006): “land use and management typically has a larger impact on organic compared to other soil components. Therefore, given the relatively short duration of the project, it makes sense to focus on soil organic carbon. The IPPC (2006) has developed recommended methodologies that can be applied. This will need to be further elaborated on with potential partners in the project, as the level to which this can be done depends on their capacities and the extent to which farmer groups could be included in the measurements and interpretation of results.
At inception phase we will be able to set a target for KPI2. The baseline will provide sufficient information on the average size of farms to be able to make an informed target.
KPI 3. Number of farmers that experience economic benefits by applying regenerative solutions,
This KPI will focus on the extent to which farmers experience economic benefits from applying regenerative solutions. Specifically, regenerative solutions are expected to lead to a reduction in costs of inputs (such as chemical fertiliser, pesticides), while being able to maintain or increase yields, profits and income. All other things remaining equal, this should lead to increased income. This KPI will assess the relationship between economic benefits (reduced input costs, increased yields) and the application of regenerative solutions by testing for statistically significant relations via regressions. This will allow to control for the influence of potentially other significant characteristics, such as socio-economic variables and location. The quantitative analysis can be triangulated and enriched by the qualitative data collected under KPI 1.