Farmer education and community action are critical elements in the strategy to best manage FAW populations. FFS are a holistic farmer education approach promoted by FAO and many organizations worldwide as a platform for farmers to learn, experiment and exchange on a vast range of topics, used in over 90 countries for nearly three decades. FFS have enabled millions of producers to increase the social, environmental and financial sustainability of their agricultural and food systems.

In the field, FFS bring together groups of farmers, pastoralists or fisher folk to engage in a process of hands-on experiential learning. This season-long learning process, drawing on field experimentation and management approaches, strengthens farmers’ critical analysis skills. Understanding complex agro-ecosystems and the interaction of diff¬erent elements creates a basis for informed decision-making.

FFS are used to support implementation of an integrated ecological and sustainable FAW management approach. To maximize outreach, FFS will be combined with mass information campaigns, rural radio, participatory videos and short crash courses for farmers and rural advisors based on experiential learning. These are combined with regional, sub-regional and national training of trainers’ events on FAW involving FFS trainers, National Plant Protection and extension officers