Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, December 2, 2013

Supporting communities in building resilience through agropastoral field schools

Supporting communities in building resilience through agropastoral field schools. 
by Robert Okoth, J., Nalyongo, W., Petri, M., Ameny, T. (2013)
23 pages

Over the last fifteen years the ecosystem-based Farmer Field Schools  FFS approach in the Republic of Uganda has been adapted from a mono-crop rice production system in South East Asia to suit the complex and diverse small holder farming system characteristics of Africa. It has been used to empower communities under three different contexts – improving productivity for food security and reducing rural poverty; restoring agricultural productivity among former internally displaced persons and refugee communities; and building resilience among agro pastoral communities faced with recurrent hazards like drought, floods and trans-boundary animal diseases.

Presently, the FFS programme has adopted a broader and holistic livelihoods dimension ensuring that beyond productivity, entrepreneurial, marketing and savings skills are core integral components of the learning process. The implementation has been conducted through a solid collaboration with the local governments, a national agricultural research system, the private sector and civil society. Through this arrangement65, FAO has trained 58 master Trainers, 796 facilitators and supported the establishment of more than 3 900 FFS benefiting at least 117 000 households and 702 000 direct beneficiaries. A network of more than 52 NGOs with full time facilitators has been vital in supplementing the government extension services to achieve this.

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