Глобальная платформа фермерских полевых школ

Farmer communities empowered through FFS to survive Fiji's pattern of drought


Agriculture is a critical field to Fijians. In the last several decades, food production has seen a steady decline which has been compounded by Fiji’s vulnerability to climate change, with frequent storms, floods and especially droughts, which can be devastating to agriculture.

Conducting resilience action plans is essential for farmers to better prepare themselves as their livelihoods depend on what is on the ground, crops and livestock. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) office in Fiji has established its first farmer field school project under the 'Pro - Resilient Fiji programme: Strengthening climate resilience of communities for food and nutrition security''. The field schools is aiming at reducing structurally and sustainably food and nutrition insecurity derived from the negative impact of climate change induced drought disasters in Fiji. Its main objective is to improve climate risk identification and management capacities at national, provincial and village levels; and Climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive agriculture techniques adopted by vulnerable small-holder farmers.

Bringing Fijian farmers together for a more resilient agriculture

The project, carried out in collaboration with the Land use department and Extension Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, focuses on communities who are facing drought, supporting and training them on drought tolerant crop varieties and Climate Smart Agriculture. The emphasis is on holistic crop management and has four basic objectives:

 • Grow nutrition and drought resilient crop

• Conserve natural enemies of crop pests

 • Conduct regular field observations

• Make farmers competent in their own field

Through FFS, farmers are improving their decision-making process, making more informed field management decisions based on crop ecology. During the FFS sessions, farmers are experimenting with inter-cropping, mulching using the available resources and Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

During the European Union’s delegation visit to Fiji, most farmers stated that the project had help them a lot in terms diversifying their crop planting in a small piece of land while mulching has helped them with weed control and more importantly for retaining moisture in the soil.

Ponijese Koravulavula, farmer field school coordinator of the Pro-resilient Fiji programme, was encouraged by, not only the farmers´ enhanced technical skills, but the farmers´ community empowerment: “In Fiji its used to be our culture and tradition of solesolevaki or working together but had not been practiced. With FFS it brings back that norms that had been practiced long time ago”