Agricultural officers and DANIDA agricultural experts were involved in developing and field-testing this manual, which is a project of the GoB agricultural departments. This guide was developed to help community members (both women and men) and community groups start and improve their technical understanding in the following areas:
1. Vegetable farming, by improving the method of selecting sites, species and crops, preparation of beds and planting pits for planting vegetables, and through successful farm management;
2. Rearing local chickens through improved semi-scavenging methods applying the techniques of using the improved hazol (brooding nest), early separation of chicks from the broody hen, using two to four layers of hygienic poultry shed and rearing chicks in cages or the multi-layer poultry shed, and ensuring balanced feeding and bio-security;
3. Fish farming in homestead base ponds using semi-intensive composite carp culture techniques incorporating the small indigenous species, which have high nutritional values.
This guide builds on the three previous versions of the Farm Forestry Field School (FFFS) manual prepared by the Intensified Social Forestry Project in Semi Arid Areas (ISFP) of Kenya. The manual was first developed in a workshop setting with the participation of Kenya Forest Service (KFS) staff members and JICA experts at the onset of the ISFP in 2004. FAO was involved in the workshop providing technical assistance to design the FFFS implementation process, facilitate the workshops and compile workshop outputs into the manual. The ISFP conducted the manual review twice through workshops. The KFS field staff members who carried out the FFFS presented the reality of the field and issues faced by farmers. Such experience sharing enriched the entire project implementation process and subsequently this publication. FAO was tasked to finalize the reviews and was asked to carry out an independent external review in 2007.
An adaptation for a post emergency recovery programme
This manual has been developed for use by facilitators. The reader should not treat it as a step-by-step guide. Rather, it is a useful resource meant to be read before starting the FFS and then used as a reference along the way. It is not subject specific but provides key operational aspects of the FFS process. Therefore, the facilitator should not use this manual as a stand alone resource, but should obtain the respective enterprise-specific content from other sources.
In many developing countries, food insecurity combined with a high incidence of infections continues to affect detrimentally the nutrition and health status of poor households. Wasting and stunting are important indicators of undernutrition. Wasting reflects acute food shortages and health problems, and stunting reveals the longer-term presence of nutrition problems. The signs and symptoms of specific micronutrient deficiencies are much less commonly known or recognized by local people and therefore not acted upon as frequently. However, specific micronutrient deficiencies frequently go hand-in-hand with general undernutrition.
This section discusses the history of the farmer field school approach, including origin and emergence, characteristics and evolution of the approach, and the current global status.