The 10 success factors of the PIP approach

The 10 success factors of the PIP approach

  1. The context in Burundi: with hardly any options for smallholder farmers to escape from the vicious circle of population growth, poverty, land degradation and food insecurity; so most people are open for 'change';
  2. The focus on empowerment: farmers becoming aware that they can change their reality, that even small plots are worth investing in, and that they have the capacity to do it themselves, even if they start with little investment power;
  3. The common vision in a family: the PIP (the plan, the drawing) as the catalyst of a change in mindset, and by visualizing the desired future, the sense of 'fatality' is converted into a sense of hope;
  4. The integration of activities: activities in a PIP are realistic, and together they are a total family package in which synergy is crucial; each family member is important, which enhances ownership;
  5. The elimination of financial incentives: emphasizing that farmers can do it themselves, their own knowledge and capacities are taken seriously, and intrinsic motivation always comes before any kind of (subsidized) assistance;
  6. The focus on short-term results: the on-demand trainings focus on accessible crop and soil management techniques that can generate quick yield increase; this stimulates the intrinsic motivation to continue and motivates peers;
  7. The focus on village level collaboration: the bonding social capital in a village, which is essential to show that doing things together and learning from each other is valuable (e.g. in the PIP competitions and farmer-to-farmer trainings);
  8. Stimulating fast upscaling: activities such as Open Days and exchange visits lead to rapid spreading of “the PIP fever” towards village level and beyond, with people genuinely participating, wanting to be part of the solution
  9. Engaging institutional stakeholders: engaging policy-makers and other influential stakeholders whenever possible, which is essential to create an enabling environment that will also enhance further upscaling;
  10. Having engaged project staff: it is essential to have staff who fully believes in the approach, who can transfer not only knowledge on agro-technical issues but also passion and a vision, and adopts a level playing field with farmers.