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This article is based on participatory development research conducted in Soroti district of Uganda with the aim of assessing the impact of agricultural development among poor farmers. The central argument is that a combination of farmer empowerment and innovation through experiential learning in farmer field school (FFS) groups, changes in the opportunity structure through transformation of local government staff, establishment of new farmer-governed local institutions, and emergence of a private service provider has been successful in reducing rural poverty. Based on an empirical study of successful adaptation and spread of pro-poor technologies, the study assesses the well-being impact of agricultural technology development in Soroti district. The study concludes that market-based spread of pro-poor agricultural technologies requires an institutional setting that combines farmer empowerment with an enabling policy environment.

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