Introduction

FAOFollowing the decline of investments in government extension services in the 1980s and 1990s, community- based extension approaches have become increasingly important. One such approach is farmer-to-farmer extension (F2FE), which is defined here as the provision of training by farmers to farmers, often through the creation of a structure of farmer-trainers. We use ‘farmer-trainer’ as a generic term, even though we recognise that different names (e.g. lead farmer, farmer-promoter, community knowledge worker) may imply different roles.

F2FE programmes date back considerably and have been used in the Philippines since the 1950s and in Central America since the 1970s. (1)
(1) Selener, D., Chenier, J. and Zelaya, R. 1997. Farmer to farmer extension: lessons from the field. New York: International Institute for Rural Reconstruction.
 F2FE programmes have grown tremendously in Africa in recent years (2)
(2) Simpson, B., Franzel, S., Degrande, A., Kundhlande, G. and Tsafack, S. 2015. Farmer to farmer extension: issues in planning and implementation. MEAS Technical Note. Urbana, IL: Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services, USAID.
 and are now quite common, with 78% of development organisations using the approach in Malawi (3)
(3) Masangano, C. and Mthinda, C. 2012. Pluralistic extension system in Malawi. IFPRI Discussion Paper 01171. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Available at:
 and one-third using it across seven regions of Cameroon. (4)
(4) Tsafack, S., Degrande, A., Franzel, S. and Simpson, B. 2014. Farmer-to-farmer extension in Cameroon: a survey of extension organisations. ICRAF Working Paper No. 182. Nairobi: World Agroforestry Centre.
 As common as these programmes are, training materials on the use of the approach and analyses, and comparisons of F2FE programmes are scarce.