After School: The Outcome of Farmer Field Schools in Southern Sri Lanka: Robert Tripp, Mahinda Wijeratne and V. Hiroshini Piyadasa
The farmer field school (FFS) is a well-established technique for introducing principles and methods for crop management through hands-on learning. It has had its most widespread application in promoting integrated pest management (IPM) in Asian rice systems. This chapter describes the experiences of a FFS programme focused on IPM and other crop management techniques for rice farmers in Sri Lanka. It is particularly concerned with exploring the relationships between farmers’ human and social capital, on the one hand, and the innovations presented in the FFS, on the other. The study addresses practical concerns for understanding what type of farmer is likely to take advantage of a FFS, what type of knowledge is gained through participation, and whether this knowledge is likely to spread to other farmers or contribute to capacities for further innovation.