Scientific research

Farmer Field Schools

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of approach:

Farmer field schools (PPS) are organized with the purpose of completion of gaps in knowledge of farmers of implementation of sustainable agricultural agro-technologies, irrigation water and prevention of land degradation.

Brief description of approach. Stages of PPS formation:

Farmer field schools are a part of the UNDP-GEF project on „Demonstration of response actions to cope with land degradation and improvement of sustainable management of land resources in the southwest of Tajikistan“.

Prior to the formation of PPS, 4 local agronomists were employed by UNDP from target jamoats and are sent to Russia for training.

Upon return, they started to provide PPS classes in each of the 4 jamoats.

Prior to the beginning of PPS work, the needs for training were identified after meetings with local farmers, according to which the training program and the schedule of classes coordinated with participating farmers was prepared.

Every year four groups of farmers by 10-20 farmers in each group are formed in 4 different jamoats. Training includes studies in classes and practical work in the fields. The contents of the studies is effectively adapted according to a season and crops.

Training in PPS is voluntary and is focused on effective use of irrigation water, integrated crop management, management of waterlogging by means of bio-drainage, prevention of formation of ravines, pest control, etc. The field (0.5 ha) where the PPS participants study the best practices and agro-technologies was provided to PPS by one of farmers.

Location: Shaartuz village, Hatlon province.

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

Majority of collective farms were disbanded following disintegration of the Soviet Union dekhkan farms were established as a result of land reforms. People without  agricultural education and experience became farmers.

However, lack of knowledge and experience often led to inappropriate land use practices that promoted its degradation.

Purpose of approach:

Field farmer schools are aimed at increase of farmers’ 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:

The training in PPS was free of charge as financial support was provided by the project; however to sustain continuity of work of field schools the farmers should pay for the studies. Moreover, in order to pay, the farmers should realize the importance and need of PPS.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: As local farmers passed the corresponding training, they can be available as consultants to provide training at farmer field schools. If the mechanism of granting micro loans and repayment continues to work, financing will be available to ensuring continuation of schools.

Reference(s): WOCAT Database. Approach code: A_TAJ018ru.

Compiled by: Firdavs Fayzulloyev, UNDP Tajikistan. Date: 15.04.2011.

Contact person: Firdavs Fayzulloyev, UNDP, Regional manager. Address: 2, Ziodaliyev str., Shaartuz office, Shaartuz, Tajikistan.

Tel.: +992-918 79 52 78. E-mail: firdavs.faizulloev@undp.org

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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