Farmer field schools (FFS): a participatory approach

FFS have already proven themselves in Africa in sustainable agricultural intensification programmes, such as the pesticides and integrated pest management (IPM) programme.

Tata Djire Coulibaly, IPM coordinator for the Association of African Cotton Producers (APROCA), is in no doubt about the benefits of FFS for farmers. "Cotton growing in Mali is largely in the hands of the cotton companies: all the decisions are top-down. With the FFS, on the other hand, it’s the farmers who decide what they’re going to do on their plots of land. It’s a question of giving responsibility so that the right decisions can be taken. And it’s of fundamental importance for us, the farmers.”

The FFS participatory approach provides capacity building and educational tools that are especially useful for the FAO as part of its strategic objectives, especially Strategic Objective No. 2: making agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable.

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[FAO Source]