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The McKnight Foundation: Enhancing smallholder farmers’ capacity for learning and adoption of Push-Pull technology through video and computer communication tools in East Africa

The McKnight Foundation is a Minnesota-based family foundation that supports non-profit organizations and public agencies to improve the quality of life for all people, particularly those in need. The Foundation supports this project on the use of modern video and computer tools to stimulate the uptake of Push-Pull technology (PPT) for food security, environmental sustainability and incomes of smallholder farmers. The project is implemented in western Kenya and it runs for two years, starting January 2011 and it aims at providing opportunities to address agricultural innovation for smallholder agriculture for food security in the region through enhancement of cereal productivity, enabling sustainable livestock development, and improvements in household nutrition and incomes. Through this project, a research at pilot level will be initiated into the relative merits and effectiveness of video in comparison with different technology communication strategies e.g. field days, public meetings, etc; both documentary video and participatory video will be used to disseminate PPT and extension to other strategically important cereals, mainly sorghum and millet, in collaboration with McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP).

The project targets to; increase adoption of Push-Pull technology using both participatory and documentary videos in the dissemination process; enhance smallholder farmers learning and adaptation of Push-Pull technology to sorghum and finger-millet farming systems using video documentation from fellow farmers; and improve farmer to farmer sharing of their own findings using participatory video.


  1. Mobilization of stakeholders, creation of awareness on Push-Pull technology, and creation of linkages with a series of strategic partners: NARS, NGOs, CBOs and farmers organizations and groups for effective dissemination of Push-Pull Technology;
  2. Research into the effectiveness of both participatory video and documentary video in enabling small-holder farmer learning, and communication of their learning experiences and own innovations;
  3. Application of farmer-to-farmer learning methods using video and computer technology in participatory adaptation of Push-Pull technology for sorghum and millet farming systems;
  4. Wide scale implementation of Push-Pull technology and integrated livestock development components, and field extension backstopping.
Our Goal
“To end hunger and poverty for 10 million people by extending Push-Pull technology to 1 million households in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020”, Zeyaur Khan, Coordinator, Push-Pull Programme
Push-pull farmers
Push-Pull On Swiss TV
Major Projects