Training of Trainers (ToT) on Climate Smart Agriculture: Farmer’s Field School

Adaptation for Smallholders in Hilly Areas (ASHA) Project organized two weeks long Training of Trainer’s (ToT) on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) techniques through Farmer’s Field School (FFS) from 14 to 25 October 2019 in Barala, Salyan, Nepal. A total of 30 Lead farmers (Five lead farmers from each project district) participated the training. District based mid-level technicians were also participated in the training. Mid-level technicians will be responsible to provide technical backstopping to lead farmers on climate smart agriculture techniques while operating FFS in the field. The objective of the training was to train lead farmers and mid-level technicians on climate smart agriculture technologies and FFS practices.

The training was facilitated by 3 consultants namely Mr. Madhusudhn Paudyal, Mr. Yam Prasad Poudel and Mr. Sudhir Kumar Aryal. The training was overall designed and supervised by Mr. Shrikanta Adhikari, Agriculture Specialist, ASHA Project in Nepal. The training was conducted classroom teaching followed by practice in the field. Mr. Krishna Prasad Osti, ASHA Project Coordinator, also visited the training and encouraged participants to ensure FFS operation on timely manner. The training participants expressed their enthusiasm and commitment to operate FFS in their respective community.

The climate smart agriculture based FFS module is unique approach in Nepal. The training is conducted in 2 modules. In first module, the training focused on preparatory process and basic technologies. In second module, the training covers details of technologies, eco-system analysis, marketing and post FFS follow up activities.

Agriculture practice in ASHA project area depends and varies due to variation in the slope, temperature, amount and reliability of rainfall, erosion of fertile soil, and availability of water for irrigation, fertilizing practices, pesticides and other technologies. Furthermore, threats to biodiversity, deforestation and increased frequency of extreme weather events have undermined the livelihoods of the rural poor. High levels of poverty and the dependency on subsistence farming by a large portion of farmers, have limited the coping ability of the rural poor and increased the situation of food insecurity.

The aim of ASHA’s Agriculture theme is to increase land productivity through increasing the ability of smallholder households in adapting climatic risks. FFS will be an approach for climate vulnerable households to organize in a group and practically experience different climate smart technologies; compare them with local practices and develop confidence to decide based on the performances they have experienced in the field experimentation. The participatory action researches carried out in FFS is based on the vulnerabilities and their possible coping initiations. FFS will be an approach to multiply and widespread the relevant technologies to the larger population.

Special features of FFS in ASHA
•Promoting local ownership on the CSA FFS is prerequisite to initiate the activity for sustainability.
•FFS facilitators receive around four weeks training i.e. divided in two modules on different technical and social skills relating FFS
•Each FFS contains at least 25 to 30 participants (minimum of 50% women and vulnerable HHs)
•Crops and possible technologies in FFS will be decided based on the cropping calendar prepared participatory; FFS will run at least for a crop season.
•No chemicals will be used in FFS; instead, maximum possible climate smart solutions will be explored, tested and promoted.
•FFS will be the continuous learning center for the surrounding farmers to adapt environment friendly cropping practices. There will be follow up activities in FFS after completing one season cropping cycle.
•The concept of secondary adaptors will be applied where FFS participants have to identify and train at least four neighboring farmers on successful CSA technologies.

For further details and technical support, please contact Mr. Srikanta Adhaikari, Agriculture Specialist, ASHA Project Nepal