Farming beyond the farm, a concept that is helping thousands of farmers in India to go beyond the traditional set of farming and agricultural rules. IGSSS in Kashmir has established two farmer field schools (FFS) to impart practical knowledge to the marginalized farmers in order to increase their food production. A Farmer Field School (FFS) covers all the different developmental stages of the crop and their related management practices, with a group of 30 farmers. Using a bottom-up approach and focus on participatory, experiential, and reflective learning, we are improving the problem-solving capacity and discovery-based learning of farmers.
The FFS activities were successful in increasing community cohesion and capacity building. FFS approach is empowering farmers in confidence building and decision making exercises by encouraging them to take lead in learning sessions in a participatory manner. The most positive and effective impact we see of the farmers’ field schools is the real empowerment of farmers. Earlier, farmers used to ask for cash, now they are asking for more such training and support to develop new activities and of course, they are more food secure now. In true essence, sustainable agriculture and effective practical knowledge are revamping the traditional structures of agriculture.