Building grower capacity in steps : final report REL001
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The issue that the sugar industry faced was how to increase the level of participation of cane growers in on farm research and through that involve them more in the progress and maintenance of their industry. The intention of this research was to look at what skills were needed to be able to do this and what was needed to maintain these groups in the long term. A participatory learning approach was used and this meant that members of the group controlled the process and the research could only go ahead if there was a group where members were willing to take part.When research began with this group, the group had two main aims. One was to have an outward focus by expanding and become involved with the industry and community and the other to continue with innovative farm trials. Energy for the first aim waned and with it, energy for this project. Even though this project ended early and did not reach its full potential as intended, there was a significant amount of learning between researchers and group members. A lot was learnt about what was involved in implementing group members’ vision of an expanded group, the benefits that this will bring and the steps needed to implement the vision.