CASCAPE stands for ‘Capacity building for scaling up of evidence-based best practices in agricultural production in Ethiopia’. Initiated by Ethiopia and the Netherlands, the project started in 2011 and is implemented in line with the Agricultural Growth Programme (AGP) of the Ethiopian government. The project promotes a participatory approach (bottom-up approach) involving farmers at all stages of the intervention.

Breaking through the traditional hierarchical structures of the Ethiopian system, CASCAPE works closely with farming communities to get to know their problems and needs. Farmers with the same themes are clustered in groups and receive recommendations on for example fertilizer use or new planting techniques. Farmers are also involved in the training aspect. For a group of five farmers, so-called ‘champion’ or ‘model’ farmers are selected to hold experience sharing visits and frequent trainings sponsored by the government. This practice is based on the farmer extension system 1-5 as documented in the AGP. This way, the model farmers help to spread the new varieties and techniques themselves after they adopted them.