Глобальная платформа фермерских полевых школ

Increasing community resilience to climate change through Farmer Field School Master Trainers’ course in Malawi


Malawi’s ecosystems are vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, especially recurrent flash floods, dry spells, and droughts. Over time, the consequences of those events combined with poverty, an over-dependence of rain-fed agriculture, land degradation and limited productivity have left rural farming communities unable to adapt to the increasingly frequent climate shocks, leading to reduced food production, chronic hunger and malnutrition and severe poverty.

Within this context and as part of the resilience building PROSPER programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with the Government of Malawi, UN agencies, International NGOs and other stakeholders and with financial support from the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID), rolled out Farmer Field School (FFS) Master Trainers’ (MT) course.

This course targets training of 120 agricultural extension staff and 3 600 lead farmers from four districts of Mangochi, Balaka, Phalombe and Chikwawa by 2023  Currently, the first cohort of trainees is finalizing their 13 weeks training sessions at the Residential Training Centre at Namiasi, in Mangochi District with support of the programme.

Trainee on the FFS MT course Adam Kabango, an Agricultural Extension methodology Officer (AEMO) in Mangochi district, says of the 12-week training that it is a step towards doing things differently in the ongoing battle against ever-present climate change impacts.

“Climate change impact tops the list as one of the key issues affecting farmers, which need to be addressed urgently. The world is changing and we need to do things differently. Farmer Field School methodology helps us do just that,” he says.

For Alfred Tsitsi, also an AEMO who has seen that challenges that farmers face due to effects of climate change, says that FFS places the farmer as central to discovering his challenges and solutions, and that is this what makes FFS methodology uniquely able to support farmer adoption of climate smart agricultural  practices and technologies.

“With FFS, the farmer is the expert. It provides them with the push to harness knowledge and technologies that they learn and to discover practical solutions that are tailor made for their locations.

Though in initial stages, in outreach sites that have been established since the trainings commenced, farmers that have started the learning process are keen to participate, citing dry spells and the entry of the Fall Armyworm as key challenges which they wish to be able to manage for sustainable food security.

“One of the things that we are hoping for is to discover what botanical pesticides will work for Fall Armyworm management. This pest is one of the problems that we have experienced in our area, which we all agreed that we need to prioritize in our studies. The use of the locally prepared botanical remedies are not only environmentally friendly but also safe for use by us rural smallholder farmers. We believe that FFS methodology will help us to get somewhere because we are already learning how to closely follow performance of our crops,” said Florence Sani, who is Treasurer of Mwima FFS in Mangochi.

This FFS training aims to strengthen provision of agriculture extension services to small-scale farmers vulnerable to climate shocks. The PROSPER programme is supporting the Government of Malawi to reduce extreme poverty and break the cycle of the recurrent cycle of food crises and humanitarian assistance implementing innovative approaches that engage  public sector support, foster self-initiatives of farmers and explore market engagements and sustainable management of natural resources. The programme started activities in 2019 and will continue supporting activities in Balaka, Mangochi, Chikwawa and Phalombe districts until 2023.



Promoting Sustainable Partnerships for Empowered Resilience (PROSPER) is a multi-stakeholder resilience programme supporting the Government of Malawi to reduce extreme poverty and end the recurrent cycle of crises and humanitarian assistance.  It aims at reducing the impact of climate shocks, responding to seasonal consumption needs, supporting the design of social safety nets, and generating evidence and knowledge to inform government policy. With funding from the UKAID under the BRACC (Building Resilience and Adapting to Climate Change), and over a 4,4-year period (Dec. 2018- March 2023), the programme will target 1.1 million vulnerable people in the districts of Balaka, Chikwawa, Phalombe and Mangochi. It is implemented by a joint NGO, private sector and UN consortium consisting of Concern Worldwide, FAO, GOAL, Kadale Consulting, the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office, UNDP, UNICEF, United Purpose, and World Food Programme.   


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