Farmer to Farmer Method
EPIC has found that one of its keys to success when teaching and promoting sustainable agriculture is using the Farmer to Farmer method. To ensure that the training networks continue to have a long lasting impact, agriculture agents have to guarantee that sustainable agriculture methods they teach can endure long after they leave communities on their own.
Essentially, the Farmer to Farmer method is farmers teaching other farmers. A two-way, peer-to-peer information exchange. In an extreme climates, the threats to crops in the field can be gradual like soil degradation or sudden like blight. Participants in EPIC agricultural programs must have the tools to adapt what they have learned in training to meet these challenges. “Rooting” the new (or rediscovered!) farming knowledge in the communities, requires the extension agents to listen and process feedback from the students. The experienced extension agent shares what he or she knows and the students share success and failures with each other and with the extension agent. The knowledge grows and expands with each season benefiting the teachers and the students.
Watch a video with EPIC projects COSECHA and
APRODEHNI practicing the Farmer to Farmer method.
According to the 2006 EPIC annual report, La Semilla del Progreso’s efforts using the Farmer to Farmer methods is starting to get more recognition.
“In 2006 the network of Farmer-to-Farmer Training Centers for which Laureano Jacobo has been giving leadership, received legal recognition from the Honduran government. This network now unites 17 farmer owned training centers throughout Honduras. All are promoting the type of sustainable agricultural practices that Laureano of La Semilla and Elias Sanchez of Loma Linda were pioneers in developing, refining, and teaching”.
Board member, Tony Brun