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Farmer Field Schools

Training Of Trainers’

Venue : Environment Africa Boardroom

Date :
Origin of FFS
• The farmer field School approach was introduced
in Central Java (Indonesia) in 1989 through work
undertaken by the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) to help the Indonesian
National Integrated Pest Management
• Farmers in Indonesia were putting their crops,
their health and environment at severe risk
through massive abuse of highly toxic pesticides
promoted aggressively by the private industry
and government.
Origin cont.
= Pest species resistant and in some cases

it was thus important to consider a large-scale

decentralized programme of education for
farmers in which they would become
“experts” in managing the ecology of their
Origin cont.
• This led to the development of a more holistic
view of what constituted an agro ecosystem and
how human interventions could either enhance
or disrupt it.
• The Integrated Pest Management Farmer Field
School (IPM-FFS) Indonesian programme was
thus born with a focus on rice fields .
• The FFS was designed to address the problem of
ecological heterogeneity and local specificity by
placing the control of small-scale agro ecosystems
in the hands of the people who manage them
• Real field problems were observed and analyzed
with decisions holistically made from planting of
rice to harvest.
Origin cont.
• Approach gained popularity and superiority
and spread to other non Asian countries such
as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania ,Zimbabwe and
Origin/History of FFS in Zimbabwe
• 1997 Zimbabwe saw the advent of the FFS
approach through the Integrated Production
and Pest Management (IPPM) Programme
funded by FAO .
• This saw the training of trainers (TOT) on IPPM
in cotton cropping systems.
• When the FAO funding period ended the Dutch
took over the funding of the project and this
saw the training of trainers on vegetable IPPM –
• Currently FFS work in the country is mainly
through independent NGOs with Agritex as a
technical partner to these.
• Commonly FAO, ICRISAT and CRS to mention
but a few funding partners have continued
work on FFS through their implementing
partners in the promotion of the methodology
in most parts of the country .ICRISAT has been
supporting FFS on integrated soil water and
nutrient management
• CRS - FFS and JFFS on ISWM ,CF, indigenous
poultry production
• Large Grains Integrated Plant Nutrition Systems
FFS activities: supported by FAO as a Technical
Cooperation Program and implemented in close
collaboration with Agritex and interested NGOs
• Large Grains CF FFS activities: October 2003 –
September 2005.ACFD promoted “Conservation
Farming for Sustainable Agriculture” through FFS.
funded by the UNDP through Africa 2000+
Network and implemented by Agritex and lead
• Coffee IPM FFS activities: October 2005 –
September 2008. Sponsored by the Common
Fund for Commodities (CFC) for three seasons
(2005/06 – 2007/08), implemented by Agritex
with CAB International providing technical
Adaptation issues in Zimbabwe
• Farmer Field Schools in Zimbabwe have been
modified from the original FFS promoted in Asia .
• Studies have revealed that the modifications
1.adaptation of terminology ( e.g. FSG )
2. diversification of agricultural technologies and
commodities promoted ( e.g. DSF,CF,ISWNM)
3.modifications to some of the implementation
steps of FFS ( esp. duration of TOT course)
4.emergence of junior farmer field schools (JFFS).
Participants Feedback
• Is there any FFS work in your areas ?

• What is the focus technology being

disseminated ? Which commodities ?

• Have you participated in any of the FFS work

in the country /your working area ?