Agricultural extension and farmer education programs are key policy
instruments for governments seeking to improve the productivity of
agriculture while protecting the environment. Accordingly, there is
great interest in the impact on farmers of such public investments and
in their financial viability. In recent years, a number of development
agencies have promoted farmer field schools (FFS) as a more effective
approach to extend science-based knowledge and practices to farmers.
typical FFS approach educates farmer participants on agro-ecosystems
analysis, or what can be more generally described as integrated crop and
pest management (ICPM), as it includes practical aspects of i.e. plant
health, water management, climatic variability, weed density, disease
surveillance, as well as observation and collection of insect pests and
beneficial organism. Studies suggest that the information contained in
the training program could, if property applied, lead to improved farm
practices and productivity.