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Week 3 (May 22-28): Enabling environment for Institutionalizing FFS

Excerpts on enabling environment from the report of the Regional Workshop:

1.     Funding:

  • Some national experiences show that regular budget allocation for FFS implementation does not always guarantee that main principles of FFS are strictly institutionalized.
  • Finance mechanisms where participants themselves contribute are often hindered by farmers’ lack of resources.
  • Shift towards innovative funding mechanism including public-private partnership for FFS programs is desirable.
  • Evidence of impact and cost-benefit of FFS in comparison with other approaches is critical for mobilizing support from regional and international donors and institutionalization. 

2.     Quality:

  • Curriculum: Institutionalizing FFS provides resources to update FFS curriculum and training materials to address emerging challenges (climate change, disaster-risk-reduction, natural resources management) and adapt to local issues and context. Integrating FFS principles and trainings in university curricula and agricultural program can sustain the quality of FFS and its institutionalization.
  • Training and facilitators: Various entry points to improve and ensure good quality of FFS include: capacity development, training of facilitators, ToTs, organizational development, leadership courses, developing criteria for and monitoring quality indicators, setting a certification for FFS facilitators, and recognizing outstanding facilitators
  • Establish autonomous bodies for developing norms and standards in coordination with various stakeholders for quality FFS implementation.
  • Quality vs quantity: The goals are often quantitative (number of FFS, farmer trainers, etc.) rather than qualitative. Ensuring quality of program when scaling up is a big challenge.

3.     Access to information: FFS groups are continually challenged by technical and technological issues, and access to right information and inputs.

4.     Monitoring and evaluation:

  • Common standardized M&E system both at national and local level and the availability of indicators to assess the quality of FFS activities and programs is found in almost all the countries. For example, in Cambodia, M&E exercises including baseline, mid-term, and post-surveys are periodically undertaken to assess the impact of FFS intervention.
  • Several tools are also used in the countries for monitoring the quality of FFS like FFS dairy in Laos Peoples Democratic Republic (LPDR) and FFS quality matrix in Indonesia.
  • Important to have in place a participatory M&E system along with a result based M&E system where the different dimensions of FFS like technical, political, social, educational, etc. can be tracked.
  • Establish autonomous bodies for norms and standards in coordination with various stakeholders for certification and monitoring.

      5.    Continuity:

  • Changes in organization, management, policies and people who are involved in and supportive of FFS pose a challenge.
  • Farmers migrate for seasonal work

 

Please reflect on the workshop findings and share:

1. Any additional challenges and risks in institutionalizing FFS, particular to your country/context

2. Strategies and key success factors that contributed to institutionalizing FFS, particular to your country/context

 

The Week 3 discussion will close at midnight on Sunay, May 28, 2017. 

Comments

Challenges and Risks

Adoption imho has always been a challenge in most forms of business transformation, notwithstanding any form of FFS institutionalisation. A proper change management methodology is probably recommended in ensuring that organisational and management changes are properly communicated, while people are adequately trained or retrained in areas ranging from policy till field farming.

Strategies and Key Success Factors

In Singapore, one of the major strategy that facilitate FFS institutionalisation seen in the progressive agriculture Industry Transformation Maps by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Since April 2017, an Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF) is disbursing 30% of authorised funding upfront in a bid to facilitate technology adoption. Growing and institutionalising the FFS ecosystem requires anciliary players in the agriculture sector being motivated, which on one hand local domestic demand of agricultural production is spurred, and on the other hand farmers and farming field schools are keen on seeking financing from the state.

One approach being adopted by the Singapore Government is in assigning a dedicated account manager that looks after each local farm advising them on matters pertaining to farming technology till field schooling and business development.

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