Farmer Field Schools (FFS) is a group-based adult learning approach that teaches farmers how to experiment and solve problems independently. Sometimes called “schools without walls”, in FFS groups of farmers meet regularly with a facilitator, observe, talk, ask questions, and learn together. Farmer field schools as an approach was first developed to teach integrated pest management (IPM) techniques in rice farming, but it has also been used in organic agriculture, animal husbandry, and also non-farm income generating activities such as handicrafts.
FFS were originally used in the late 1980s by FAO with rice growers in Indonesia. The participants were selected based on their ability to read and write and to participate in discussions and analysis. Eventually, the program for rice was carried out in 12 Asian countries and gradually expanded to include new commodities such as vegetables, cotton, and other crops. This experience was further used to adapt and institutionalize FFSs in more than 90 countries of the world.
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