Farmer Field Schools: A Systematic Review

Farmer Field Schools (FFS) are a means of transferring specialist knowledge, promoting skills and empowering farmers. Over 10 million farmers in 90 countries have attended such schools.

A new Campbell systematic review examines their effectiveness in Lower and Middle Income Countries.

The review addresses whether FFS make a difference, for whom, and in what circumstances. It includes a detailed assessment of qualitative studies.

The review found evidence that FFS can improve intermediate outcomes (knowledge about and adoption of beneficial practices), as well as final outcomes (agricultural production and farmers’ incomes).  The evidence is largely limited to short-term evaluations of pilot programmes.  However, in the few examples where FFS have been scaled up, evidence that they have been effective in improving agricultural outcomes is lacking. 

The review team was led by Hugh Waddington of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). The work was made possible by financial support from the Millenium Challenge Corporation.

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