Title of document: IPM Farmer Field Schools: A synthesis of 25 impact evaluations

Author: Henk van den Berg

Ministry/Government Agency/OrganisationWageningen University; Global IPM Facility

Year of publication: 2004

Geographic focus: South East Asia

Main issues / topics addressed: A synthesis of 25 impact evaluations

School of agroecology: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) / Integrated Cropping Management (ICM)

The Farmer Field School is a form of adult education, which evolved from the concept that farmers learn optimally from field observation and experimentation. It was developed to help farmers tailor their Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices to diverse and dynamic ecological conditions.

In regular sessions from planting till harvest, groups of neighboring farmers observe and discuss dynamics of the crop’s ecosystem. Simple experimentation helps farmers further improve their understanding of functional relationships (e.g. pests-natural enemy population dynamics and crop damage-yield relationships). In this cyclical learning process, farmers develop the expertise that enables them to make their own crop management decisions. Special group activities encourage learning from peers, and strengthen communicative skills and group building. A detailed description of the Farmer Field School approach is given by Pontius et al. 1