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Demultiplication of training in livestock techniques in the Recasé project

In the RECASE project, the “demultiplication of training” in livestock rearing techniques was designed to maximise the dissemination of skills.

A must : livestock demultiplication

The demultiplication of training courses is directly linked to the demultiplication of livestock, which is one of the pillars of the RECASE project, and the "didactic material" of the courses. It is organised as follows :
❏ Pigs or goats are distributed to a first group of farmers who are called "direct beneficiaries". These people, who have received one animal each, undertake to give part of the offspring (one kid or two piglets) to other farmers at the first and second births.
❏ The farmers receiving these animals in turn commit to making the same donation when their animals give birth. In this way, the livestock "demultiplies" in the community exponentially.

A strategy : the demultiplication of training courses in animal husbandry techniques

In the RECASE project, the “demultiplication of training” in livestock rearing techniques was designed to maximise the dissemination of skills, by relying mainly on occasional “relay trainers” (farmer trainers or PFO) chosen from among the farmers.

To initiate the multiplication, the farmers who benefited from the first distribution of pigs or goats were trained in breeding techniques by pairs of project facilitators (part of the project team) and community facilitators, who were from the community (working in direct contact with the farmers).

After the training, these people were given animals and practised. An evaluation was carried out to select people to become relay trainers.
These farmers received additional training to enable them to lead subsequent training cycles in animal husbandry techniques and thus became farmer trainers (PFO).

One fear was that the demultiplication of training courses would lead to "a dilution of content and practices". However, the presence of common training materials and the support of local facilitators helped to mitigate this risk by preserving the homogeneity of the content transmitted in a common pedagogical sequence.

The detailed implementation of demultiplication in the project

-* Demultiplication of livestock
The demultiplication of livestock is framed by the Local Economic Groups [GEP] and the Sector Economic Intergroupings [IGES], which bring together the GEPs of a given sector. While this is not the only role of the GEP/IGES, it is a central one and is largely responsible for the decision to create them in the context of the project :
"It is the GEP committees that report on the progress of the multiplication. They report on planned and actual births. They inform the future beneficiaries who must then have built a shelter and it is the PEGs that carry out the distribution of livestock.” (Valentine, outreach worker)

The selection of livestock beneficiaries is therefore made at the level of the GEP/IGES members’ assemblies, in consultation with the local authorities :

- “The beneficiaries of the multiplication are chosen well before the animals are born. Everyone knows beforehand, and to avoid conflicts, we collaborate with the authorities.”

- “Everyone chooses, together, who will receive an animal. We start with the most vulnerable.”

Then the GEP committees check that the information given by the beneficiaries is accurate and corresponds to the criteria for selecting beneficiaries.
Once the beneficiaries are selected, they must be taught how to maintain and feed the animal, build a shelter, and then ensure that it is built before an animal is given. In addition, training in animal husbandry techniques is organised for future beneficiaries in groups of no more than 15 people each.

The GEP committees monitor the pregnancies and farrowings of goats and sows to plan the delivery of offspring. The dates of farrowing and potential delivery to multiplication beneficiaries are recorded in cards.

The GEP involve the local authorities in the handover of livestock : the signing of the contract binding the beneficiary to its obligations is done in the presence of a representative of the Unit who puts his own signature on the document. In general, the GEP committee and the Community Animator distribute the livestock during particular times (e.g. Umuganda, International Women’s Day, IGES meetings, etc.).
Indeed, the GEP also try to organise group deliveries of animals (but this depends on the dates of calving and therefore weaning) in a solemn manner.

-  "On that day, the authorities are there. It is often during a collective action. The authorities have received a report and have been officially notified and invited. There are speeches : someone from the project will give a message about the current action and also talk about the project. The person receiving also says a word : there is a solemn aspect.” (GEP member)

-  “When the first animal is handed over, a contract is signed between the beneficiary and Adenya. Then, in the context of the demultiplication, the contract is signed directly with the PEG committees." (Valentine, outreach worker)

The distribution of offspring is always preceded by training in livestock rearing techniques. At the time of the transmission of the livestock, there is a reminder/reinforcement of the training in breeding techniques.

What the project team learns from the implementation of livestock demultiplication

Demultiplication has led to a strengthening of community ties :
- "There are two main types of changes : economic but also social." (Daniel, outreach worker)

- “At the community level, each donation creates a new friendship. It widens the circle of friendship because we often meet to talk. We often visit each other : the friendship increases." (Fidèle, outreach worker)
It also has multi-level benefits for households that have received an animal.
- “When the animals received continue to calve, then it is a source of income. Of those who received livestock, some were then able to buy another animal.”(Fidèle, outreach worker)
- “We made sure [by giving small livestock] that the beneficiaries have manure, some of which can be sold. But most of the manure is used in the fields, which has led to an increase in production." (Fidèle, outreach worker)