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farmer field schools

National Workshop on Farmer Field Schools 2015

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farmer field schools

  1. 1. Dr. P. S. Rao Former FAO-UN staff National Workshop on "Farmers’ Field School " February 6-7. 2015 NIPHM, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad.
  2. 2.  Farmer field schools (FFS) are a common approach used to transfer specialist knowledge, promote skills and empower farmers around the world (Waddington,2014).  FFS are implemented by facilitators using participatory “discovery-based” learning based on adult education principles.
  3. 3.  Emerged out of a concrete and serious challenge – high usage of toxic pesticides for pest control in crops – health and environment problems  In Indonesia – in 1980’s – offshoot of green revolution  Govt sought a massive large scale decentralised education program for farmers – to reduce pesticides – but protect incomes and production
  4. 4.  Inadequacy of govt. extension systems to make this happen  Demand from large no’s of poor farmers to be part of the program  IPM-FFS designed to address the above in 1989
  5. 5.  Holistic view of Elements of agro-eco system (AES)  Impact of Human interventions – enhance or diminish  Large and highly Heterogeneity of the large farm lands  Farmers becoming experts and decision makers  How to enable the numbers
  6. 6.  Application of IPM principles in the farms  Master the process to support other farmers to learn and apply  Collaborative activities/experiments by communities to institutionalise the principles  Drawn from adult non-formal education approaches
  7. 7. The FFS approach was designed to address the challenge of ecological heterogeneity and local specificity by placing the control of small-scale agro ecosystems in the hands of the people/farmers who manage them (Pontius et al., 2002).
  8. 8.  First wave of FFS in 1989 in the rice fields of Indonesia  200 FFS’s in four districts of Yogyakarta  Indonesian National IPM program  Funded by Govt. of Indonesia, USAID  Technical support by FAO-UN  1800 FFS’s for rice by 1990 as part of upscaling of GoIN IPM in 6 provinces  By 1991, pilot FFS’s for rotation crops and spreading to other countries in Asia
  9. 9.  From 1991 to 1994, with support from the FAO Inter- country IPM Programme, rice IPM-FFSs reached to Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Lao PDR, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.  First Farmer-to-Farmer FFS in Indonesia in 1990 - an initiative of farmers who graduated from the first round of FFS  By 1993, Farmer-to-Farmer FFSs were established in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam.  From 1995 to 1999, the Farmer-to-Farmer Programme took roots in China, Lao PDR, Nepal and Sri Lanka
  10. 10.  From 1991 to 1994, with support from the FAO Inter- country IPM Programme, rice IPM-FFSs reached to Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Lao PDR, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.  First Farmer-to-Farmer FFS in Indonesia in 1990 - an initiative of farmers who graduated from the first round of FFS  By 1993, Farmer-to-Farmer FFSs were established in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam.  From 1995 to 1999, the Farmer-to-Farmer Programme took roots in China, Lao PDR, Nepal and Sri Lanka
  11. 11.  FFSs are now active in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Near East and North Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe, and in the United States and Western Europe (Denmark)  FFS implemented in a total of 87 to 90 countries reaching 15 to 20 million farmers(A. Braun, 2008)  2012-14; a systematic assessment of 80+ evaluations of various FFS’s carried out  FFS now includes PPM, INM, PCM, Livestock, Water, Climate Variability, etc.
  12. 12. The Field Schools differ from other extension methods with the following characteristics:  FFS are season-long crop and field based experiential learning  based on pre-identified challenge and curriculums  Support each participating farmer to get deeper insights regarding their crop ecosystem through individual assessment  Facilitate farmers in discovering knowledge and the methodology to learn more  Developing capacities in farmer to farmer dissemination of the process/technologies/options.
  13. 13. 1. Group of farmers with a common interest 2. The Field – for collaboration and experimentation 3. Trained FFS Facilitators 4. The Curriculum – follows natural cycle of its subject 5. The Program Leader 6. Financing
  14. 14.  With a common interest – pesticide reduction, yield improvement, etc.  Could be an established one – Self Help Group, User Commiitee, Rythu Mitra, youth clubs, etc  Mixed – male and female – or separate – depending on culture and tradition  New groups based on the need
  15. 15.  Practical and hands on  Field is the teacher – plants, insects, soil particles, etc  NO classroom teaching / lecturing  Community’s own farm/plot
  16. 16.  Un-learning of previous knowledge  Change of attitudes to that of facilitators  Skills in participatory learning  Discovery based learning  Technical domain knowledge  Group’s learning and action process  Farmer Facilitators – most effective than outside extension agent
  17. 17.  Facilitation skills  Learn to grow crops soiling their hands  Organisation skills  Management skils  Preparing training materials, documentation, etc.
  18. 18.  Must follow the natural cycle of the topic – crop / animal / soil etc - Seed to seed or egg to egg  Different aspects of subject goes in sync with what is actually - happening in the farmer field  Relevant technical topics simplified in pictures  All activities based on experiential learning  Action, observation, analysis and decision making
  19. 19.  Direct application of acquired knowledge in their field  Emphasis on ‘How’ and ‘Why’ – innovation and local adaptation  Season long experiments, short term activities  Icebreakers / Energisers / Team building exercises  Special topics – need based – Swach Bharat Abhiyan, HIV/AIDS  Resource Persons from research institutes, etc.
  20. 20.  Enabling and overall lead  Support the facilitators  Negotiate challenges in transition to participatory approach  Organise the training materials  Identify resource persons – scientists, govt. staff, social leaders, etc.  Monitoring and evaluation
  21. 21.  To support group learning activities – can be low cost or expensive  Training – key recurrent component  In extension – it is transport  Innovative ways to raise local funds – FFS plots?
  22. 22.  Initial start-up costs – moderate  Running costs will be much lower  Scaling up costs will be reasonable and much less than traditional extension activity  Innovative ways to raise local funds – FFS plots?
  23. 23.  The IPM Field School is field based and lasts for a full cropping season  A crop (rice) FFS meets once a week with a total number of meetings that might range from at least 10 up to 16 meetings.  Each FFS meeting includes at least three activities: the agro-ecosystem analysis, a “special topic”, and a group dynamics activity.  Between 25 and 30 farmers participate in a FFS. Participants learn together in small groups of five to maximise participation. (Pontius, J. et.al., 2002)
  24. 24.  The primary learning material at a Farmers Field School is the crop (rice) field.  The Field School meeting place is close to the learning plots often in a farmer’s home and sometimes beneath a convenient tree.  FFS educational methods are experiential, participatory, and learner centred.
  25. 25.  In every FFS participants conduct a study comparing IPM with non-IPM treated plots.  An FFS often includes several additional field studies depending on local field problems.  All FFS’s include a Field Day in which farmers make presentations about IPM and the results of their studies.  A pre- and post-test is conducted as part of every Field School for diagnostic purposes and for determining follow-up activities.
  26. 26.  The facilitators of FFS’s undergo intensive season long residential training to prepare them for organising and conducting Field Schools.  Preparation meetings precede an FFS to determine needs, recruit participants, and develop a learning contract.  Final meetings of the FFS often include planning for follow-up activities
  27. 27.  Users should be encouraged to monitor and manage their own groundwater system  Blending of science and indigenous wisdom is possible  Introduction of simple tools and skills would enable users to manage their groundwater systems
  28. 28.  Lasts a full hydrological year  25 and 30 farmer participants  Once every 15/20 days  Primary learning material: HU & farmer field  Sessions at farmer plots  Small groups of five to maximize participation  Experiential, and participatory methods
  29. 29.  Hydro-ecosystem analysis, special topic, and group dynamics activity  Compare farmer and experimental plots  Several additional field studies depending on local field problems  Ballot Box Exercise: Pre- and post-test  Field Day: share learning and results of their studies
  30. 30. HU area calculation Crop Water requirement Hydrologic cycle Borewell discharge measurement Pumping wells In a basin Recharge Rate Land Use Pattern Hydrologic Basin Annual Water Balance

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  • AapkaApnaKapzSingh

    Jan. 5, 2016
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    Jun. 24, 2016
  • LindaLindaMiati

    May. 17, 2017

National Workshop on Farmer Field Schools 2015

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