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Proceedings of the Regional Workshop on Soil Fertility Management through Farmers Field School in the Near East

Amman, Jordan: 2-5 October 2000








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    Guidelines and reference material on integrated soil and nutrient management and conservation for farmer field schools 2000
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    Historically, land improvement schemes were based on encouraging, through financial incentives, land users to adopt specific soil management and conservation measures. Insufficient attention was paid to the constraints faced by farmers or to the policy, biophysical and socio-economic environment. In many cases such approaches have failed in restoring the natural resources and in increasing productivity in sustainable manner. For too long farmers have been the passive recipients of externally der ived research and extension recommendations for soil management and conservation.
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    Farmer Field School on Integrated Soil Management. Facilitator’s Manual. 1998
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    Farming communities of the FARM Programme field sites often indicated that they would like to receive more technical information particularly in relation to soil management, improving the efficiency of fertiliser use, increasing output and controlling costs. In attempting to respond to this need the FARM Programme used the modality of the Farmer Field School (FFS) as a learning tool for natural resource management. The FFS approach has enjoyed remarkable success in the implementation of the Int egrated Pest Management Intercountry Programme (IPM) in rice production in the region. The FFS approach in rice cultivation showed that farmers can become experts at ecosystem analysis and make informed decisions about necessary interventions, from both an ecological and an economic point of view. It seemed reasonable to assume that the FFS concept could be applied to enterprises and processes other than integrated pest management in rice production.
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    Support to the Promotion of Conservation Agriculture and Integrated Pest Management for Sustained Soil Fertility and Productivity - TCP/GHA/3701 2023
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    The degradation of soils, which are the foundation of agrifood systems, is alarming in sub Saharan Africa, which is already facing continued population growth that increases pressure on scarce natural resources Soil in Ghana is becoming low in nutrients, fragile and exposed to adverse natural and environmental pressures In addition, unsustainable farming systems on marginal lands and the overuse of chemical fertilizers and misuse of pesticides have led to declining soil fertility and contamination of the natural environment, rendering soils unproductive and negatively affecting livelihoods Smallholder agriculture, especially in the northern part of the country, is characterized by natural production with low access to productive assets, information and technical skills, low level of implementation of modern technologies and mechanization, small farm sizes, lack of productive infrastructures and rural finance institutions Moreover, subsistence farmers are the most exposed to climate change and price volatility Conservation Agriculture ( has proven to be a viable approach that contributes to improved and sustainable productivity, environmental protection and climate change adaptation It aims to improve soil productivity and conservation and includes practices that combine integrated management of soil, water and agricultural resources to boost food production Despite the potential benefits, implementation of CA, Integrated Pest Management ( and other Climate Smart Agriculture ( practices by smallholders remains low Previous experience with these types of interventions in Ghana showed a lack of evidence based interventions, know how on appropriate technologies to use and access to appropriate and locally designed tools and affordable equipment Smallholder households were identified as slow adopters of CA There is also the need to introduce the benefits of IPM to farmers to minimize the use of chemicals in foods As such, this project aimed to improve production systems and strengthen resilient livelihoods by using a climate smart approach as well as dealing with issues affecting agriculture management of natural resources The project targeted smallholder food crop farm families who are the most vulnerable with limited access to markets and credit The issues to be addressed were the degradation of natural resources due to inappropriate farming practices and population growth, improper use of agrochemicals in farming, a lack of organizational capacity to deal with climate change impacts at the community leveI inadequate access to resources and negligible or no access to information on good agricultural practices and climate change impacts.

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