Leading issues in implementation of farmer field schools: a global survey

Henk van den Berg*, Suzanne Phillips, Anne Sophie Poisot, Marcel Dicke, Marjon Fredrix

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The Farmer Field School (FFS) has been used to enable farmers to adapt their farming decisions according to the field situation. This paper explores the methodological state, challenges and lessons learned, of the FFS around the World. Design/methodology/approach: We used a 52-item questionnaire to capture issues of design, implementation and evaluation of the FFS. Completed questionnaires were received from 57 ongoing or recent FFS programmes. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Findings: FFS programmes have diversified, including multiple crops and livestock. Farmer involvement in the design and planning of interventions was found to be critical. FFS programmes increasingly relied on farmers as FFS facilitators. Short training duration for FFS facilitators raised concern about FFS quality. Even though mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation were mostly in place, capacity for data analysis and data utilization were a concern. Practical implications: Results highlight strengths and shortcomings in design, implementation and evaluation of the FFS. The information acquired can be used to support the quality of ongoing and future programmes. Theoretical implications: This research contributed to understanding that the educational foundations of the FFS should be reflected in programme design and evaluation. Originality/value: Many studies of the FFS exist, but this is the first global overview on how farmer field school programmes are carried out, with various lessons learned.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agricultural Education and Extension
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Dec 2020


  • adult education
  • crop production
  • Farmer field school
  • impact assessment
  • monitoring and evaluation
  • rural development

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