Farmer field schools improve some farming practices and farmer outcomes

Added June 25, 2020

Citation: Waddington H, Snilstveit B, Hombrados J, et al. Farmer Field Schools for Improving Farming Practices and Farmer Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Campbell Systematic Reviews 2014;10: i-335.

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic has decreased agricultural production, reduced the supply of workers, damaged food supply chains and increased food insecurity. Existing research on farmer field schools to promote learning of new technologies might provide useful information for those planning the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and seeking to boost agricultural production.

In this Campbell systematic review, the authors searched for studies of farmer field schools in low- and middle-income countries, including qualitative studies on barriers and facilitators. They did not restrict their searches by date of language of publication and completed the search in October 2012. They included 92 quasi-experiments and 20 qualitative studies.

What was found: Farmer field schools improved farmers’ knowledge and adoption of beneficial practices and reduced overuse of pesticides and environmental degradation, leading to positive outcomes for farmers.

Knowledge of better practices did not spread to neighbouring farmers who did not participate in the farmer field schools programme.

Large-scale farmer field schools programmes were not effective. 

The effects of farmer field schools on empowerment of farmers are uncertain.


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