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Enabling institutionalization of the Farmer Field School approach











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    Book (stand-alone)
    Institutionalizing Farmer Field School approach: experiences from Latin America 2018
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    The Farmer Field School (FFS) is a group-based experiential learning approach first developed by FAO 25 years ago in Southeast Asia rice paddies for training farmers to apply the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Since then, its use extended successfully including multiple crops, aspects of crop management beyond IPM and encompassing non-field activities related to farm enterprise development and marketing and other sectors as nutrition, climate change and health care. Against this background of increased expansion, the need of institutionalizing FFS emerged to increase its impact and unlock its potential in the long run and ensure sustainability while maintaining flexibility in its implementation and preserving quality and relevance of FFS activities. This report summarizes the results of the FAO study on Experiences from Latin American countries on institutionalization of FFS. It aims to present the common features of the institutionalization process in Latin America delving into the experiences of Peru, Bolivia, Honduras and Costa Rica. FFS has been instrumental in achieving FAO’s strategic objective 2 on improving sustainable agricultural intensification, reducing poverty and building resilience.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    A Shift In Global Perspective: Institutionalizing Farmer Field Schools 2015
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    The Farmer Field School (FFS) approach has been very successful and witnessed a strong expansion in many areas beyond crop production. Notwithstanding this success, the adoption of FFS in national extension often remains problematic and FFS activities have often been implemented in the margin of national institutions with strong reliance on donor funding. The creation of an enabling environment for institutional support is essential for expanding the effort, improving quality, and strengthening impact and continuity of the FFSs. This paper aims to analyse opportunities, challenges and implications of institutionalizing FFS at the national level.
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    Project
    Institutionalization of Field Schools (FS) in Extension Curricula of Institutions of Higher Learning in Eastern Africa - TCP/SFE/3701 2021
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    The Farmer Field School (FFS) approach was developed by FAO and partners as an alternative to the prevailing top-down extension method. The approach promotes farm-based experimentation, group organization and local decision-making. Countries have expressed strong interest in integrating FS into their national policies, strategies and programmes. Considering the expansion of FS in terms of both numbers and geographic scale, concerns have emerged about how best to ensure a minimum level of quality of FS programmes while maintaining the required flexibility. A Global FFS Review, conducted in 2012 by FAO, identified the steps and conditions required to set up strong and sustainable FFS programmes, including the need for institutionalization to harness quality FS through standardized guidelines and harmonized implementation procedures. Although FS are widespread in the Eastern Africa region, the mainstreaming of the approach within national extension systems varies widely and the integration of FS knowledge in mainstream Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) is minimal. As a result, extension graduates lack the level of FS expertise required in the field. This is exacerbated by the fact that policy-making regarding the integration of FS in IHLs cuts across multiple ministries, in particular, ministries of education, which govern colleges and universities, and ministries of agriculture, which host the majority of FS expertise and knowledge in the field. The project aimed to bridge this gap between ministries and IHLs in order to enhance harmonized, systematic capacity-building for future cadres of FS actors.

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