Research and Extension Systems

FAO's Research and Extension Unit launches new Farm Business School (FBS) publication

The Farm Business School (FBS) was developed to assist extension workers, public or private, to more effectively work with farmers to provide them with the skills to respond to market demands. This publication comprises a collection of training materials that include: i) an orientation programme for policy makers and programme managers, ii) a short training (1 day or 7 days) for facilitators to set up and run farm business schools, (iii) a handbook aimed at providing guidance to trainers to design and implement the programme, and iv) a manual of training exercises.

The package has been developed as reference materials for trainers at regional or country levels to design effective, ‘tailor made’ training programmes in the field. The goal is to help farmers to adapt to the changes and fully take advantage of the new opportunities that have arisen in farming worldwide as a result of market liberalisation. 

Extension services are responding to these changes and are developing programme to better serve farmer demands. However, it is widely recognised that technical know-how alone is inadequate. Farmer skills and capacity can only be built by offering tools for learning and practice, which is the aim of this publication.