Scientific research

Farmer Field Schools in the irrigated zone

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of approach:

Training of agrotechnical and ameliorative methods of soil improvement and increase of their productive capacity to farmers by specially prepared instructors (from local experts) within the frame of Field farmer schools (FFS).

Brief description of approach.

Stages of FFS establishment:

I. Development of the curriculum. During a 3-day seminar, national scientists, agriculture and water management experts, advanced farmers under the direction of the international FAO consultant developed the training program, approved subject and contents of training modules.

II. Preparation of teachers. The specialists of Scientific Research Institute and the project consultants prepared the teachers for FFS during 3 weeks at the educational seminar «Training for trainers».

III. Training of farmers. Groups of farmers by 20-25 people were formed for the realization of FFS, in which the trained teachers conducted trainings.

The FAO TCP/UZB/2903 project initiated the formation of FFS.

The working group of national consultants organized and directed the training process in FFS. The groups of listeners of FFS were formed from farmers of design districts on a voluntary basis.

Training was carried out by the prepared teachers by the approved modules. Demonstration sites served as educational production base. Travel trainings to the farmers’ fields were conducted during the execution of the current agrotechnical measures. Theoretical studies were carried out in field camps, in classes of rural schools. FFS used a mass method of information transfer through distribution of printing editions.

Location: Ak-Altyn, Sardoba and Nishan

districts, Syrdarya and Kashkadarya provinces.

Main land use issues and the main causes of land degradation:

After independence, the land use system in Uzbekistan is changed. The shirkats (successors of collective farms and state farms) were disbanded and land was passed on to farm enterprises for a long-term lease. A land use was transferred to farmers many of which had no agricultural education and experience.

Purpose of the approach:

Field farmer schools are aimed at increase of farmer potential and introduction of the best practices of land and water use in irrigated agriculture.

Assessment

Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- PPS provide the chance to train farmers on the job during time convenient for them;

- PPS provide mass training of farmers;

- special educational institutions and high financial investments are not required;

- farmers have a possibility to exchange experience, to discuss problems and ways to solve with each other during training in PPS.

Main disadvantages:

- though PPS is an informal organization, it demands support of local authorities in the organization and financial support of the state authorities during the first stage is required.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: 300 farmers were trained within the frame of the FAO TCP/UZB/2903 project, 690 farmers were trained within the frame of the WB project on „ Reconstruction of irrigational and drainage infrastructure and restoration of wetlands“ (2005-2009) in PPS of the South Karakalpakstan; 152 farmers gained experience on selected measures of the best practices, participating in the field days organized for the farmers living in the neighborhood to demonstration sites, who were not PPS listeners. Training of farmers with use of the FAO PPS approach is an integral part of many investment projects in agriculture in Uzbekistan.

Reference(s): WOCAT Database . Approach code: A_UZB003ru.

Compiled by: Rustam Ibragimov, CACILM MSEC. Date: 24.12.2011.

Name of person(s) collected this description: Tatyana Hamzina, Chief specialist on soil reclamation studies and irrigation regime. UZGIP LTD.

Address: 44, Navoi str., Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Tel.: +998 90 9945654

E-mail: tatyana_khamzina@mail.ru 

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