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Week 1 (May 8-21): Reflect on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

The meaning of institutionalization is very much related to context and culture. As such, the notion of institutionalization should be interpreted differently as one of sustainability as it entails internalizing changes within individual practices and organizations which eventually will become the norm. While institutionalization usually contributes to sustainability, it does not guarantee it.

The importance of FFS is more as a “learning process” rather than solely an extension mechanism. Thus, when it comes to institutionalization, it entails the institutionalization of a “culture of learning” and a commitment to farmer education. Institutionalization is a complex, not linear, and long-term process which requires changes in the system/process in which agricultural extension and education operates as well as changes in the mind sets of people who are involved in agriculture and farmer education. While support from policy makers are fundamentally important, institutionalization is not only related to policies, government and other extension providers, but it is also considered as an “organic process” taking place at local groups and communities. Issues of quality, in terms of norms, standards, trainers emerge as a very crucial element. Indeed, if at one hand it is difficult to clearly determine if or how FFS should be institutionalized. On the other hand, institutionalizing FFS would be important in order to assure good quality in scale.

While institutionalization of FFS is very much part of the local groups, communities, and culture, it is crucial to bring this up at policy level in order to have institutional support to scale. Inclusion of FFS approach in policy documents is particularly important for funding purposes, e.g. in gaining financial support from governments. In the process of institutionalization, support from policy makers is also fundamentally important to support FFS activities a t the local level as well as transfer this process to scale. Policy supporting gender empowerment and the participation of women in FFS training and activities at local level is also required.

At the national level, the recognition of FFS as effective training and extension approach for farmers’ and community empowerment at economic, environmental and social level (e.g. can help solving problem cohesively) have played a favorable role in promoting FFS and its institutionalization. 

The rationale behind the institutionalization of FFS is a need for sustainable learning and farmer education, also for next generation. Institutionalization appears to have a direct link with the efficient use of funds and resources as, among other things, it eases coordination among various program stakeholders and provides an innovative platform for engagement and collaboration among key stakeholders such as researchers, farmers, and academia.  

 

Please reflect on the workshop findings and:

1. Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

2. Make specific recommendations with concrete examples 

 

The Week 1 discussion will close at midnight on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

Comments

Dear all,

I agree with the main idea that FFS is a "learning process", and not a "technology transfer" per se. I would say that FFS should be part of a national and regional wide educational commitment to farmers elsewhere. I understand that the FFS pioneers and practitioners all over the world would say that FFS is an educational commitment for farmers and agricultural officials. Based on Indonesia's experience in the past decades, however, I have a great doubt that FFS has been organized and established by the Indonesia's authorities as part of educational commitment in a long-term basis. Once the FFS was incorporated as the government program and has its consequences of calculating the costs to be included in the annual state's budget planning, then the counting focused on one FFS as one unit extension program. Thus, the government would define of how many FFSs they would like to organize in a particular fiscal year. Yes, it is easy to count. One FFS in one location for one planting season costs as much as this..

The operationalization of that kind of program would thus focus on the success of running the FFSs in how many locales in one particular planting season/year. Under that condition, the question is: how could the government manage the FFSs as an educational commitment to improve farmers' knowledge, learning skills, practice, etc.? Yes, they have the manuals and the extension/facilitators to manage the FFSs. They have a number of farmers to be recruited.They could also run a pre- and post-test to measure the success of the FFS. But, the main issue I would like to consider is the "institutionalization" aspect of FFS. How could the government (extenion and facilitators) institutionalize the learning process among the FFS participants and keep monitoring and facilitating the FFS alumni to sustain their learning? 

Where is the budget allocation for that kind of program? How to measure the success of such an institutionalization among the farmers? I learned from my observation that this is the "missing" ingredients in the FFS program organized by the state as has happened in Indonesia.

How to deal with such a situation then?

Quite often the government staff replied to my question with their statement that they already made a contract with the FFS farmers that the farrmers agreed to continue their practices and that they would transfer their new knowledge to their fellows. My further question: How could you think that changes in farmers' perspectives, knowledge, and practices would be as easy as that? I understand, though, that the government staff are not social scientists who understand the mechanisms and processes of stimulating changes in farmers' culture and behavior. In my observation, the new elements the farmers receive from a training in a particular FFS, for example IPM FFS, will be stored in their "schema". However, it is still a question whether the combination of new elements will always be activated once the farmers face a particular situation/phenomena in their farming? For example, would the farmers activate the combination of integrated pest management elements when they face a continuous pest/disease outbreaks? The answer could be "yes", but it could also be "no". If the farmers face continuous intensive pest/disease outbreaks accompanied with the very intense promotion by the chemical pesticides company dealers, they may activate their "old combination of elements" of just spraying chemical pesticides in a mixture without any observation in advance. In that situation, who are facilitating farmers to understand the implications of their practices? Is it a sustainable practice? Are the FFS facilitators ready to return to their previous locales of introducing FFS? In many cases in Indonesia, I doubt that the IPM farmers were facilitated intensively in their post FFS training to sustain their new learning and to continuously learn from their practical decisions of its implication on their ecosystem and the sustainable growth of their crops. Where is the "institutionalization of the FFS learning among the IPM or other FFS farmers"?

I agree wholeheartedly that establishing the new schema learned in the FFS is a very important part of farmers' education. It would take time though. What is the solution? I already voiced my thought many times in several public events such as seminars or workshops that: 1) the FFS organizers/providers have to define a long-term period educational commitment and to think of how to support that program on a longitudinal basis; 2) the continuous facilitation by any external facilitators/agencies have to be established by also recruiting some FFS alumni to be farmer-faciltators; 3) the allocation for training of trainers' programs have to be designed, including the methods and approaches to sustain farmers' own learning; 4) the inclusion of local leaders (formal and informal) to support the educational commitment has to also be carefully planned; and 5) the need to carry out a continuous reflection and inter-subjectivity between the facilitators and the farmers to evaluate the success and the failures, the strength and the weaknesses, and to find solutions together.

The major question in relation to the involvement of the state agencies: how to develop such an educational commitment in the existing structure of government's annual program and budgeting? Frankly speaking: I do not have the answer for that clue.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes I agree with the overall concept of FFS to be use as “learning process” for farmer education as well as for rural development as long term impact. I would like to share the successful example of Pakistan IPM-FFS programme toward Institunalizating for sustainability.

Society of Facilitator and Trainers (SOFT), an FFS-IPM base agriculture forum, is the only emerging facilitator Institution working in Pakistan since 2004 and registered in 2009 for capacity building of rural communities through IPM FFS Approach. It has considerable experience in training on FFS approach, which is essential for sustainability of the institualizing of “farmer Filed school” to sustain the learning process. They have conducted many trainings using FFS Approach including training of trainers and Training of Facilitator in Crops (Rice, Wheat, maize) vegetables (Tomato, Okra, Onion, etc) Cotton and livestock management, kitchen gardening, pesticide risk reduction, vocational and stitching training. Currently SOFT is pursuing and implementing ICT based e-FFS learning management system along with Irrigation Field School (IFS), in addition to other farmer-led participatory learning models with the collaboration of Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).   

It emerges after the first successful Training of Facilitators (ToF) in Nawab Shah and Khairpur (Sindh) in 2001, highly qualified professional from various prestigious agricultural institutions of Pakistan emerged as a team of professional facilitators. This fabrication process of facilitators extended its network in the rest of the provinces of Pakistan especially in Sindh and Punjab. The first ToF in Punjab started in April 2002 in Bahawalpur under the umbrella of National IPM Programme Pakistan and FAO-EU Cotton IPM for Asia and produced 25 facilitators along with 125 IPM farmer Facilitators. In 2003 the majority of the facilitators from ToF facilitated the IPM activity through ToF, Farmer Training of Facilitators (FToF) and Farmer Field School (FFS) in their respective districts. The number of facilitator and IPM Farmers kept growing with high pace.

To maintain and further this pace, formations of a society to use the national resources in a productive way become indispensable. The Society of Facilitators and Trainers (SOFT) was formed by a group of professionals desiring an avenue for interchange, professional development, trend analysis and peer networking. A formal association was proposed and adopted at the 2nd National IPM Facilitators congress in Islamabad, November, 2004. A lot of people signed on as charter members. Since then, the SOFT has grown to over hundreds of members from all over Pakistan including AJK and Gilgat Baltistan.

SOFT has currently 40+  national/international member organizations, that not only facilitate it in providing resources but also share their expertise in the designated areas. Currently there are affiliated groups, departments, different IPM stake holders, donor’s agencies and government institutions. The method that SOFT uses for training is propagative one where the likelihood of spreading of knowledge is positive.

Having a lobby of well trained team of facilitator and highly qualified professionals, SOFT never hesitates to accept any challenge in the field of agriculture and rural development to use the learning process of FFS. Having proven results in the field of Livestock, Kitchen Gardening & Tunnel Farming, Food Processing & Preservation, Honeybee Keeping, Organic Farming, integrated Pest Management, Integrated Crop Management, and Capacity Building, SOFT wants to go beyond in the field of agriculture. Our aim is to produce maximum from optimum resources by applying new technology and innovative ideas and to do this SOFT would welcomes any challenge at National and International level networking of FFS.

Issues:

·         Lack of ownership from parent organization

·         Involvement in consultative process regarding FFS based projects

·         Strengthening capacities

Recommendation to further strengthen these institutions:

Involvement as partner in implementation/ quality assurance in FFS based projects

Window for participation in National/International events

Technical assistance

Munawar Raza Kazmi Kazmi's picture

The institutionalization of FFS has different meaning under different cultures and norms. I personally take the meaning as something which has been engrained in the minds of those dealing with farmers/adults education and extension. For some others it means sustainability. However for me both have some minor differences.  Whatever you mean and whatever you understand the process faces a lot of challenges. The main reason – again to me is that in almost all Asia – governments make big claims about farmers and farming communities but not much is done on the practical side. The departments are being governed by those who have little respect and understanding of indigenous knowledge held by growers. So they develop policies with these mind sets. Now FFS has established its credibility as learning process but I take on wider scale as it empowers farmers/participants and enables them to make right decisions. Take the example of BBT ……don’t you think growers will apply these learning in other spheres of their life too…..

So I think at the private sector/NGO or growers organization level a lot of things are happening.. 

In Balochistan some NGO/private sector involved in farmer learning process (FFS) they are unaware with the philosophy of FFS and totally change the concept /them of FFS approach.  In CMP (a federally funded) project the approach was top to bottom (training) and no ecosystem analysis etc and this was happed because the whole project was executed by the officers but not by FFS/TOF trained Facilitators.

In future in order to avoid such situation there should be a check and balance system (registration and certification of NGO/facilitators). 

Jeyakumar Ponnuraj's picture

Institutionalising FFS is little difficult process as the first step is the policy makers need to be convinced about the importance of FFS. If suppose they are convinced again when the tenure changes, some times some other policies may dominate depending upon the situation and circumstances. My another feeling or observation is farmers practice the recommendations as long as the critical inputs or continuous monitoring or advice is available to them at their door steps. 

  The biggest problem is the network of pesticide dealers and companies, who are in proximity with the farmers and many times farmers heed to their advice compared to agriculture department extension officials. To implement effective FFS the FFS alumni / retired officials as suggested by Dr.Konda Reddy may be useful because of the following reasons.

The FFS alumni are already trained in FFS.

There are many retired department officials who are also FFS alumni and they are staying in their native villages. Using their service for a nominal honorarium, will keep them engaged in official activities and also serve the purpose of extension activity of State. Many a times serving officials are acting as FFS facilitators but the known fact is they are busy in priority activities of the state. In this course it is difficult for them to find time for FFS.

So engaging the retired employees / FFS alumni to adopt FFS and train farmers in their own place of residence (provided in villages with agriculture activity), through some policy will keep them engaged only for FFS activity and also they will be in close proximity with farmers. 

 

Along with pesticides dealer’s impact of FFS / trained facilitators are the main reasons in institutionalizing FFS and convincing of policy makers and even the farming community. 

Here I want to share an examples from Balochistan province where most of farming community are illiterate compared to other provinces of Pakistan. But they import and use very costly seed because they are convinced from crop yield (income) told by shopkeepers/dealers.

Here I have one suggestion:

Collection of   real world /applied research data (FFS- based learning) and sharing the same with quarter concerned in shape of concept papers in order to translate FFS research to policy.

I agree in principle that farmer field schools be institutionalised. This comes from my limited volunteer experiences with villages in Thailand such as at Chiang Mai and Mae Sot, as I note that farming education when institutionalised can provide better skillset upgrading and lifelong learning opportunities in as far as village kids are concerned. In other words, in as far as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are concerned, we have to recognise that farming is one direct approach in addressing Zero Hunger in the case of the rural people. Yet, farming is a potential stepping stone to sending children and farmers to school, be it learning how to write till improving farming practices with technology. Institutionalisation of farmer field schools can incrementally provide a framework that empowers such sustainable development of rural farming societies.

I note nonetheless that the institutionalisation of farmer field schools is less than always a one-size-fits-all approach globally. Discretion during the planning and implementation phases is imho advisable.

Images: 

FFS Institutionalization what i understand is that the FFS learning system is adopted or practiced by farmers, public and private service providers, extension, research, universities, farmer skill development centers, as the basic mean of farmers education, skill development and services. 

As Making Farmer Expert is the ultimate objective of FFS learning system, I have seen a great debate on Naming of FFS either it should be FFS or Field School  but the aim is to accomodate this learning system in all capacity building and livelhood intiatives and actions accross the board. 

keeping in view the subject discussion, importance of FFS Institututionalization at local and International level, there is a need to make felxilbity in the FFS learning model structure and its tools to be translated in accrodance with the learning commodity, crop, cropping system, or any other livelihood actions for which the Field School approach is selected. While the main idea of Inquiry based learning process along with learning by doing principle aiming at making farmer expert may remain same. 

Like In Pakistan, SOFT in collaboration with ACIAR and other National & International Partners is working with different learning models like Doscovery Learning, Collaborative Problem Solving Learning and Value Managment learning model under the ubmrella of Field School learning system focused on Irrgiation. The Idea of FFS is translated as Irrigation Field School focused on Irrgiation Managment equiped with different learning models like IFS (Doscovery Learning) or IFS (CPS) or IFS (VM) for different communities in the same area. Likwise, Women Open School and Childern Ecological Clubs/Youth Ecological Schools have the same principles and learning aims i.e. making people expert thruogh learning by doing principles with inquiry based learning. 

As I understand, this is the process of Institutionalization of FFS learning system asthe FFS process is spreading around with different nomenclature, acceptable with different learning models and focussed issues. 

There is a need to undersand and recognize the process of Learning Models with different nomenclatures having the same aims and objectives as the process model, so that the Farmer Field School/Field School leanring system Institutionalization process could be recognized at local and Intrnational level in borader picture. 

This may ultimately repalce the conventional extension model (top to down) accross the globe. 

Images: 

Here below is a summary of the various contributors:

 

There is a general agreement on the need for institutionalizing FFS, particularly the “learning process”.

 

Yunita Winarto

FFS is a "learning process", and not a "technology transfer" per se. FFS should be part of a national and regional wide educational commitment to farmers elsewhere. In reality, the educational commitment gets undermined when FFS is institutionalized.

 

Citing the example of Indonesia, Yunita points out that: After the FFS was incorporated into the government program with associated funding in the state's annual budget planning, the focus was on counting—one FFS as one unit extension program. Thus, the government would define of how many FFSs they would like to organize in a particular fiscal year. The operationalization of that kind of program focused on the success of running the FFSs in how many locales in one particular planting season/year.

 

The questions this process brings to the front are: (a) how can the government (extension and facilitators) institutionalize the learning process among the FFS participants and keep monitoring and facilitating the FFS alumni to sustain their learning and practices? (b) How to develop such an educational commitment in the existing structure of government's annual program and budgeting?  

 

Potential strategies proposed by Yunita include: 1) the FFS organizers/providers have to define a long-term period educational commitment and to think of how to support that program on a longitudinal basis; 2) the continuous facilitation by any external facilitators/agencies have to be established by also recruiting some FFS alumni to be farmer-facilitators; 3) the allocation for training of trainers' programs have to be designed, including the methods and approaches to sustain farmers' own learning; 4) the inclusion of local leaders (formal and informal) to support the educational commitment has to also be carefully planned; and 5) the need to carry out a continuous reflection and inter-subjectivity between the facilitators and the farmers to evaluate the success and the failures, the strength and the weaknesses, and to find solutions together.

 

Roshan Khattak

Shared the successful example of Pakistan IPM-FFS programme, particularly the Society of Facilitators and Trainers (SOFT), towards Institutionalizing FFS for sustainability.

 

Munawar Raza Kazmi

In almost all Asia – governments make big claims about farmers and farming communities but not much is done on the practical side. The departments are being governed by those who have little respect and understanding of indigenous knowledge held by growers. However, there is hope in the work of private sector/NGO or growers organization as they empower farmers and enable them to make right decisions and transfer their learning.

 

Arif Shah

Cites the example of an NGO in Balochistan that implements poor quality FFS.  Also, he states that federally funded programs are top down, as programmes are managed by officers and not by FFS/TOF trained Facilitators.

 

Calls for wider dissemination of applied research data from FFS practices to counter the efforts of private entrepreneurs in pushing high cost inputs to gullible farmers.

 

Jeyakumar Ponnuraj

Calls for engaging FFS alumni, especially retired government officials, for implementing quality FFS. This relieves the stress on serving officials, who are often distracted by various priority programs of the government.

 

Rongxiang Lin

Farming education when institutionalized can provide better skillset upgrading and lifelong learning opportunities as far as village kids are concerned. Farming is a potential stepping stone to sending children and farmers to school, be it learning how to write till improving farming practices with technology. Also, farmer education interventions help address the SDG ‘Zero Hunger’.

 

Institutionalization of farmer field schools can incrementally provide a framework that empowers such sustainable development of rural farming societies. However, institutionalization of FFS is less than always a one-size-fits-all approach globally. Discretion during the planning and implementation phases is advisable.

 

Jam Khalid

Calls for flexibility and adaptability of FFS learning model, structure and its tools in accordance with the learning commodity, crop, cropping system, or any other livelihood actions for which the Field School approach is selected; while adhering to inquiry based learning process, learning by doing, and making farmer the ‘expert’.

 

Shared the example of how SOFT has adapted FFS to address needs of varied audience. He calls for understanding and recognizing the commonality of objectives, principles, and process of FFS across different interventions to facilitate institutionalization at local and national levels, and beyond.  

 

Look forward to hearing from other participants.

1. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

The meaning of institutionalization is very much related to context and culture. As such, the notion of institutionalization should be interpreted differently as one of sustainability as it entails internalizing changes within individual practices and organizations which eventually will become the norm. While institutionalization usually contributes to sustainability, it does not guarantee it.

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels:

- FFS's topics are indentified according the community' need, and FFS even has been integrating cultural activities of the community. For example folk, dance, composing songs, skits, poetry, as well as conservation of plants, such as purple rice use for offering ancestors, gods, ect.

- FFS to solve the problem that farmers facing, and government's concern such as:

- reduce the use of fertilizer, seed, better management of pests

- no tillage in crop production

- Better use of natural resourses: integrated rice-fish farming, system rice intensification (SRI)...

Challenge, difficult

- Interval of individual FFS varies according the crop cycle and the contents and topics of the FFS, which is a complex while planning and persuading for financial approval.

- lacking of quality trainers

Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

- at ministry level develop technical norms and cost norms for individual practices

- TOT, refresher training (National training programme)

2. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

The importance of FFS is more as a “learning process” rather than solely an extension mechanism.

Thus, when it comes to institutionalization, it entails the institutionalization of a “culture of learning” and a commitment to farmer education.

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

(case of Vietnam):

- In Vietnam, the FFS has only been applied by the IPM program, but it has not been recognized that IPM is effective due to the application of FFS, and that policy-makers are mostly not yet aware on FFS.

 

- FFS farmers undertake the extension often using their field as evidence of the results of technical application, sharing of experience, information in their own way to convince other farmers

Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

There should be an awareness raising strategy on FFS

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels:

3. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

Institutionalization is a complex, not linear, and long-term process which requires changes in the system/process in which agricultural extension and education operates as well as changes in the mindsets of people who are involved in agriculture and farmer education.

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

(case of Vietnam):

Involvement of Commune People's Committee leaders, extension workers, and mass organizations in organising FFS programme at community plays an important role in changing attitudes

Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

- Participation of the Ministry of Education and Training in FFS training programme

- Also need involvement of schools, agricultural college/university

- Evaluating the performance of extension programs as well as evaluating the results of the FFS program to help policy makers and FFS adoption is the most effective extension method.

4. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

While support from policy makers are fundamentally important, institutionalization is not only related to policies, government and other extension providers, but it is also considered as an “organic process” taking place at local groups and communities.

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

(case of Vietnam):

FFS supports the formation of groups, women's clubs, or the formation of club activity models. These groups maintain their own productive links to market their products, share experiences

Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

Support community to build action plan for follow up activities

5. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

ssues of quality, in terms of norms, standards, trainers emerge as a very crucial element. Indeed, if at one hand it is difficult to clearly determine if or how FFS should be institutionalized. On the other hand, institutionalizing FFS would be important in order to assure good quality in scale.

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

(case of Vietnam):

Vietnam has issued strategic plan for promotion of FFS training (MARD's Direction No. 2027 / QD-BNN dated June 2, 2015 on the promotion of application of IPM, period from 2015 to 2020; Irrigation Sector - MARD issued the plan by year 2020 with the goal of 30% of irrigated rice cultivation to adopt SRI, and other environment)

Challenge:

Resources and quality of trainers to meet implementation of strategic plan for promotion of FFS training

Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

- TOT, refresher training (National training programme)

6. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

While institutionalization of FFS is very much part of the local groups, communities, and culture, it is crucial to bring this up at policy level in order to have institutional support to scale.

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

(case of Vietnam):

Vietnam has issued strategic plan for promotion of FFS training (MARD's Direction No. 2027 / QD-BNN dated June 2, 2015 on the promotion of application of IPM, period from 2015 to 2020; Irrigation Sector - MARD issued the plan by year 2020 with the goal of 30% of irrigated rice cultivation to adopt SRI, and other environment)

Challenge:

Resources and quality of trainers to meet implementation of strategic plan for promotion of FFS training

Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

- TOT, refresher training (National training programme)

7. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

Inclusion of FFS approach in policy documents is particularly important for funding purposes, e.g. in gaining financial support from governments.

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

(case of Vietnam):

The difficulty of accessing finance due to lack of norms.

Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

- at ministry level develop technical norms and cost norms for individual practices

8. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

In the process of institutionalization, support from policy makers is also fundamentally important to support FFS activities a t the local level as well as transfer this process to scale.

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

(case of Vietnam):

Piloting model of FFS training programme start at community level and advocacy up to policy maker level, Involvement of stakeholders (Woman Union, Farmer Union ...)

FFS programme link to implementation of national programmes (food security, food safety,  and sustainable use of natural resources)

Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

9. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

Policy supporting gender empowerment and the participation of women in FFS training and activities at local level is also required.

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

(case of Vietnam):

- Exercise of labour division of (male and female) in family and social activities have been carried out. This exercise aims to raise awareness about gender and gender equality issues in rural communities, and at the same time, this exercise is also the basis for determining the percentage of women and man should participate in the activities, as well as role of women and man in community activities.

Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

Involvement of Woman Union

10. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

At the national level, the recognition of FFS as effective training and extension approach for farmers’ and community empowerment at economic, environmental and social level (e.g. can help solving problem cohesively) have played a favorable role in promoting FFS and its institutionalization.

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

(case of Vietnam):

In Vietnam, the FFS has only been applied by the IPM program, but it has not been recognized that IPM is effective due to the application of FFS, and that policy-makers are mostly not yet aware on FFS.

Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

- There should be an awareness raising strategy on FFS

- Evaluating the performance of extension programs as well as evaluating the results of the FFS program to help policy makers and FFS adoption is the most effective extension method.

11. Excerpts on importance of Institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels from the report of the Regional Workshop:

The rationale behind the institutionalization of FFS is a need for sustainable learning and farmer education, also for next generation.

Institutionalization appears to have a direct link with the efficient use of funds and resources as, among other things, it eases coordination among various program stakeholders and provides an innovative platform for engagement and collaboration among key stakeholders such as researchers, farmers, and academia. 

Share any additional reflections on the importance of institutionalizing FFS at local and national levels

(case of Vietnam):

Solid link between trainers and farmers to develop farmer initiatives, but it is lack of collaboration among key stakeholders (researchers, farmers, and academia)

 Make specific recommendations with concrete examples:

- Participation of the Ministry of Education and Training in FFS training programme

- Also need involvement of schools, agricultural college/university

 

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