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Introduction to the Farmer Field School










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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Implementation of Farmer Field School (FFS) programmes 2022
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    This fact sheet describes the course that provides an overview of the process to design, implement, scale up, evaluate and manage FFS programmes.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Introduction to Farmer Field Schools
    A Reader for Institutions of Higher Learning
    2019
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    The essence of farmer field schools (FFS) is to empower farmers to learn, understand, and make informed decisions. The FFS approach challenges conventional agricultural extension approaches, which are based on top-down delivery of technology packages. It is estimated that by 2015, millions of farmers and agro-pastoralists in the world had benefited from the unique ability of FFS programmes to address the technological, social and economic needs of smallholder farmers and land users. Because of this success, the demand for FFS programmes has been increasing, and in several countries, the approach is now institutionalized within public extension systems and NGO programmes. An output from an FFS workshop was a proposal by the stakeholders to develop a core reading material on FFS for use by universities as they undertake to institutionalize the approach in their institutions. The FFS Reader provides the audience with a common understanding of the salient aspects of the FFS approach. The document is not meant to be exhaustive but rather introduces the reader to the fundamentals of FFS methodology and provides specific references for further reading. It is expected that the document will contribute to the mainstreaming of participatory and experiential learning processes and knowledge on the FFS approach in tertiary education system in eastern Africa. It is also hoped that academia and especially students interested in researching or learning about FFS will find this Reader intellectually stimulating, informative and resourceful.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Understanding the Farmer Field School agro-ecosystem analysis board 2021
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    The ecosystem-literacy training employed in FFS is vital for enabling smallholder farmers to master the management skills required for sustainable crop production intensification and diversification. This is radically different from the approach used by more traditional extension systems which are designed for “technology-transfer” purposes. Agro Ecosystem Analysis (AESA) is the cornerstone of the field school approach and is based on the ecosystem concept, in which each element at the crop/farm/field has its own, unique role. It involves crops or commodity observations, data collection, analysis, interpretations or discussions, and recommendations. Farmers use AESA method to understand the situation of crop ecosystem in the FFS approach. However, the method still included a reasonable level of complexity where the farmer has to deal with numeric and textual data. This remained a challenge for the facilitator to communicate with the farming community, who cannot easily write and read the observations and perform analysis on a paper sheet and also in the presentation of the same AESA sheet. The New AESA Board is devised to mitigate the challenge of illiteracy and some other challenges in participatory group learning including the difference of age, education level, gender equality, wealth position, social activism in the field school. The pre-designed AESA board provides equal opportunity to all participants including literate, illiterate or poor literacy services. This AESA board along with analytical color language named Jam's 4 Colors by FAO Pakistan remains among the top innovations of 2020.

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