Farmer Field School (FFS) Activities

Farmer Field
Farmer Field School

Energizer is a training procedure, such as an opener, icebreaker or the like, designed to start things off and set the proper climate for a learning activity. Energizers comprises of various stimulating exercises to invigorate the farmers from their usual activities. The goal of an energizer is to activate a group of people, whether participants at the F-ToF course or farmers in the FFS group. The energizers can be singing, dancing and other games as shown in the pictures above. In the case of FFS groups, farmers may also decide to make a group song which they sing during meetings, and energizers may also be educative. During these fresh up activities the participants are usually divided into smaller groups.

As experienced by some groups of participants when using energizers during their FFS sessions with the farmer’s groups, energizers used to be adapted to the setting: i.e. in some groups they work well and create a good and more relaxed atmosphere among the farmers, while when dealing with a very shy group of farmers or working within a highly religious community, certain types of energizers may be inappropriate or too overwhelming.

Skill Enhancement workshops

Longest Spoon
Skill Enhancement Workshops are organized to improve the skills of farmer facilitators about the new technologies, innovations and methodologies in agriculture which enable them to equip themselves according to the current needs required for higher and better yield. Experts and resource persons are invited in the workshops / refresher courses to disseminate information to these farmer facilitators.

There are different exercises that takes place in order them to teach and train the facilitators. These exercises play an important role in transferring skills and knowledge to a selected audience.

Longest Line.
The participants make the longest line by adopting different techniques. Nothing is impossible. There are different ways to do any activity sometimes they can use a stick or shirt, belt to make the longest line.

Group dynamics

Group dynamics is how members of a group interact and communicate with one another and what their roles are in a group.  Group dynamics highly influences the quality of training. Where a close relationship among trainees and facilitator is lacking, it is impossible to create a confident and relaxed earning environment. Consequently, participants may feel reluctant to participate in the FFS. The FFS will be successful if the facilitator can encourage participants, create an atmosphere of mutual trust and convey empathy.

The goal of group dynamic exercises is to strengthen group cohesion, maintain motivation and help participants develop organizational skills. There is a large menu of the group dynamics activities that facilitator learn during their training. Often facilitator will help farmers process the activity by asking them how the activity is relevant to the special topic of the day or to some local farming problemis a process of interaction of a group at work. It includes such processes as communication, goal setting, decision-making, support giving and leadership.

Creating a happy and excited environment is an important element for a successful FFS. To encourage group dynamics, it is important to pay attention to seating / standing arrangements. The illustration below shows seating arrangements in a traditional training situation, based on a teacher – student teaching model. In that situation, trainees cannot exchange and interact with one another.

Team Building Exercises

These kinds of exercises are an organized effort to improve team effectiveness. It is a process consisting of a series of synergy-building exercises designed to promote group cohesiveness and effectiveness in performing and achieving their common goals and tasks. It helps the farmers to seek out ways to be more innovative and creative; to improve management practices in areas such as communication, decision-making, delegation, planning, coaching and career development. Moreover it also guide them to improve relationships with other team members and to enhance external relations e.g. with local government units. Source: WWF

An FFS session in Bahawalpur District, Pakistan

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