Pest and Pesticide Management

Farmer Field School

Knowledge is a tool of empowerment and it is central to the farmer field school (FFS) approach. Farmer Field Schools (FFS) are about people, their development and their empowerment.

An FFS brings together a group of 20 to 30 farmers to meet regularly in a process of hands-on field-based learning over a season/production cycle, from seed to seed, egg to egg or calf to calf. Through experiments, group dynamic exercises and discussions, participants strengthen their skills and knowledge for critical analysis, test and validate new practices and assist in making informed decisions on field management. The learning process in the FFS reinforces the understanding of complex ecological relations in the field. The basic learning cycle also aims at enhancing participants’ group cohesion so that they can better work as a group, draw on their own experience and observations and the experience and knowledge of others, create a consensus, and prepare for follow-up action once the FFS learning cycle finishes. Community-based problem analysis is the entry point for a FFS group to develop a location specific curriculum.

The FFS approach, first developed in Indonesia to focus on integrated pest management for rice, has since addressed a wide range of topics, such as soil health, water management, seeds, agropastoralism, aquaculture, agroforestry, nutrition and markets, and has been implemented in over 130 countries, adapting its key features of ecological literacy, field-based learning and group collaboration to different ecosystems. Farmers continue to drive the innovations that enrich FFS programmes, while institutions and organizations actively integrate FFS in their activities.

Visit the global farmer field school platform here