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Farmer Field Schools - Revised version











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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Good and promising practices. Integrating the methodologies of farmer field schools into universities’ curricula: The case of Kenya’s Pwani University 2021
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    Farmer Field School (FFS) was introduced by FAO and partners more than 30 years ago as an alternative to the prevailing top-down extension approach. FFS promotes farm-based experimentation, group organization, and local decision-making through discovery-based learning methods. FFS involves season-long learning of field-based groups of 25 to 30 farmers, who meet regularly to learn through discovery, experimentation, and share the experience. FFS combines local and scientific knowledge and aims at making farmers better decision-makers. Whereas the conventional technology transfer approach focuses primarily on developing and transforming technologies that work for farmers, the FFS approach, on the other hand, empowers farmers to become better decision-makers towards developing or adapting technologies that work and are acceptable to them. Farmers, agro-pastoralists, and fisherfolk worldwide have benefited from the unique ability of FFS programs to address their technological, social, and economic needs. As a result of this success, the demand for FFS programs continues to increase. In some countries like Kenya, the approach is institutionalized in extension systems and NGO programs. Since then, member countries in the Eastern African subregion have expressed their interest in scaling up existing FFS initiatives and integrating the methodology in national extension policies, strategies, and programs. In response to this need, the FAO Subregional Office for Eastern Africa (SFE) developed a project, titled, “Institutionalization of Field Schools (FS) in Extension Curricula of Institutions of Higher Learning in Eastern Africa”, aimed at developing and putting into practice a contextualized and practical approach to mainstream FFS into the agricultural extension.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Facilitators' guide book for farmers field schools 2017
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    This publication offers facilitators technical guidance to manage field farm schools to support local famers in all aspects of rice crop management. Technical knowledge gained by farmers will revitalize the rice industry in Fiji and assist food security by alleviating dependance on rice imports.
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    Policy brief
    What have we learned from trees? Three decades of farmer field schools on agroforestry and forestry 2022
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    Over the last three decades, Farmer Field Schools (FFS) have proven to be an effective discovery-learning-capacity building approach to help rural populations to innovate with more clarity and purpose while building the social skills needed for rural transformation and empowerment. The diverse forestry and agroforestry applications of the FFS demonstrate a high impact on fostering ecological literacy and unlocking creative capacities in problem solving. Producers are encouraged to take ownership of change occurring at the local level. FFSs in forestry and agroforestry can help rural families and producer organizations develop multiple ways of reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture and contribute to rehabilitating ecologies and restoring ecosystems. The experiences of farmer field schools (FFS) around the world show a tremendous potential to advance small-scale forestry and agroforestry. By applying the FFS approach to agroforestry and forestry, it is possible to: Enable family farmers to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and social organization to achieve a more regenerative natural resource stewardship in and through small-scale and family farming, and to collectively contribute to sustainability and climate change targets. Support people-centred forest extension and community-based forestry by demonstrating the key role of better education and ecological literacy in empowering change in rural communities. Develop “response-ability”, i.e. the capacity of small-scale producers to respond to challenges in agriculture, food and natural resources management with renewed creativity, knowledge and technological development. Develop multiple ways of reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture while ensuring food security and nutrition and contributing to ecosystems restoration, climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as biodiversity conservation.

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