Scaling Up the Farmer Field School Extension Model
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World Ag Info Project Design Team
Solution Scenario Concept: Agricultural extension is back on the development agenda and two recent literature reviews on extension have agreed that the performance of the Farmer Field School Model is the central “extension question” in discussions in developing countries and among donor agencies (Anderson 2007; Eicher 2007). Proponents of the FFS Model claim that the model is used in projects or national systems in 50 to 70 countries However skeptics report that the number is inflated because the model has been used in a number of countries and then dropped because of three reasons: limited farmer to farmer (multiplier) impact; the lack of financial sustainability, and lack of tested ICT innovations that have been useful in scaling up FFSs in different countries. The parallels between the FFS and T&V (Training and Visit) models are instructive. After donors invested $3 billion in T&V projects in 70 countries over the 1975 – 95 perio, the World Bank concluded that the model was 25 percent more expensive than the traditional government extension model in Ministries of Agriculture. As a result, donors terminated their support to the T&V model. This helps explain why action research is needed now on process of institutionalizing FFS in different countries.
WorldAgInfo Project Solution Scenario 2: Agricultural Extension. Based on the deliberations of participant groups in Workshop 1, the WorldAgInfo Design Team drafted a problems and solutions summary document (available within Section Three of the Final Report). This is one of several potential solution scenarios to emerge through that process. These were in turn used to inform proposed information projects generated by Workshop 2 participants in Livingstone, Zambia (available within Section Two of the Final Report).
World Ag Info Project
Information Systems; Agriculture; ICT; Agricultural Development; International Development; Agricultural Education