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Strategies for scaling out impacts from agricultural systems change: the case of forages and livestock production in Laos


  • Joanne Millar


  • John Connell


Scaling out and up are terms increasingly being used to describe a desired expansion of beneficial impacts from agricultural research and rural development. This paper explores strategies for scaling out production and livelihood impacts from proven technologies. We draw on a case study of forages and livestock production in Laos, a Southeast Asian country undergoing rapid economic and agricultural change. A facilitated learning environment stimulated farmers to adapt forages, livestock housing, and animal health practices to their own situations (scaling out). Regular follow-up visits and on-the-job mentoring for extension staff provided institutional support (scaling up). Within 5 years, the number of villages and households using forages and fattening livestock had increased six fold, with a 50% reduction in the time required for farmers to get significant benefits. The paper concludes that scaling out positive impacts from systems change requires field tested and proven technologies, evidence of significant livelihood impacts, fostering of local innovation, competent field staff, effective peer learning, and ongoing institutional support. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Suggested Citation

  • Joanne Millar & John Connell, 2010. "Strategies for scaling out impacts from agricultural systems change: the case of forages and livestock production in Laos," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 27(2), pages 213-225, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:27:y:2010:i:2:p:213-225
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-009-9194-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kiptot, Evelyne & Hebinck, Paul & Franzel, Steven & Richards, Paul, 2007. "Adopters, testers or pseudo-adopters? Dynamics of the use of improved tree fallows by farmers in western Kenya," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 509-519, May.
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    5. Stur, W. W. & Horne, P. M. & Gabunada Jr., F. A. & Phengsavanh, P. & Kerridge, P. C., 2002. "Forage options for smallholder crop-animal systems in Southeast Asia: working with farmers to find solutions," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 75-98.
    6. World Bank, 2003. "Scaling-Up the Impact of Good Practices in Rural Development : A Working Paper to Support Implementation of the World Bank’s Rural Development Strategy," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14370, The World Bank.
    7. Horne, Peter M. & Stur, Werner W., 2003. "Developing agricultural solutions with smallholder farmers - How to get started with participatory approaches," Monographs, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, number 114052.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hannah Pitt & Mat Jones, 2016. "Scaling up and out as a Pathway for Food System Transitions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(10), pages 1-16, October.
    2. Pacín, Fernando & Oesterheld, Martín, 2015. "Closing the technological gap of animal and crop production through technical assistance," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 101-107.
    3. Hermans, Frans & Roep, Dirk & Klerkx, Laurens, 2016. "Scale dynamics of grassroots innovations through parallel pathways of transformative change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 285-295.


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