Community Agricultural Support Officers
The Community Agricultural Support Officers (CASOs) have been working with us for 1 year now. They are an enormous hit with the communities and have been instrumental in scaling up our farmer training project from 2 groups in 1 community to 7 farmer’s groups across 3 communities.
As well as delivering training they also provide essential advice and readily available livestock services. Without the CASOs, community members are reliant on calling vets from town, this can be expensive and the travel time often means treatment doesn’t come soon enough. The CASOs are based within the communities they serve meaning they can respond more immediately and they don’t simply provide treatment for livestock they also explain to farmers what the problem is and how to treat it. They spend time going through symptoms with the farmer so that the next time they can identify diseases and infections themselves and the CASO explains the different preventative and reactive medical treatments a farmer can adopt for the future. This individual on the spot training, builds farmers animal husbandry skills and is invaluable in the long term. As one farmer said, “the way John works means he’s working himself out of a job. When John comes, he explains the problem and how he is going to treat it and this means that next time I don’t need to call John I can simply treat the cow myself, without John” This is fantastic feedback and we are immensely impressed with the CASO progress!