Smallholder farmers taking the lead: Farmer Field Schools in Tajikistan

Public Organization "Rushnoi"
Publicado: 12 Julio 2020
Última edición: 12 Julio 2020
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Assisting farmers to implement land conserving approaches and to foster biodiversity through Farmer Field Schools (FFS) is an initial and important step to tackle challenges in Tajikistan’s agriculture. During FFS farmers are taking the lead during an adult educational approach where everyone meets at eye level. The knowledge and experience of the farmers is a driving factor during the workshops.


The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Deutsche Welthungerhilfe (WHH) as implementing partner held 37 FFS in two districts in Tajikistan.


The focus of the FFS was not on a specific crop, but on diversification of crops and cultivation methods. The technical approaches came from an assessment that was done prior to the FFS and the participating farmers itself. The emphasis was on local needs and included good practices in pasture management, orchard management and diversified irrigation methods. In addition, approaches to reduce soil erosion were implemented.


Asia Central y del Norte
Escala de aplicación
Campos de cultivo
Acceso y participación en los beneficios
Adaptación al cambio climático
Institucionalización de la biodiversidad
Manejo de bosques
Prevención de erosión
Reducción de desastres
Lluvia errática
Degradación de tierras y bosques
Pérdida de la biodiversidad
Pérdida de ecosistemas
Falta de capacidad técnica
Falta de seguridad alimentaria
Objectivos de Desarrollo Sostenible
ODS 2 - Hambre cero
ODS 3 - Salud y bienestar
ODS 12 - Producción y consumo responsables
ODS 13 - Acción por el clima
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
Metas de Aichi
Meta 1: Aumento de la sensibilization sobre la biodiversidad
Meta 2: Valores de biodiversidad integrados
Meta 4: Producción y consumo sostenibles
Meta 7: Agricultura, acuicultura y silvicultura
Meta 10: Ecosistemas vulnerables al cambio
Meta 12: Reducir el riesgo de extinción
Meta 13: Protección de la diversidad genética
Meta 14: Los servicios ecosistemicos
Meta 15: Restauración de ecosistemas y resiliencia
Meta 18: Conocimiento tradicional
Meta 19: Intercambio de información y conocimiento




The agricultural sector is one of the most important sectors in Tajikistan, accounting for more than 30% of the GDP and employing 70% of the people. Besides plant cultivation, livestock breeding plays an important role for the farmer's income. Irrigation cultivation is only used in a few overused hotspot areas. Monoculture, overgrazing and overuse with high application of pesticides and fertilizers put a stress on ecosystems. With 9.771 plant species Tajikistan is a globally important biodiversity hotspot that is worth being protected.


Furthermore, climate change will have far-reaching effects. With extreme weather events more likely to occur, Tajikistan’s fragile, mountainous ecosystems are under threat. Soil erosion and land degradation pose a risk to food security and economic income of farmers.


The main beneficiaries are farmers and their families in Ayni and Rasht District in Tajikistan as well as the communities they live in.


In addition, trainers and cooperating NGOs increased their capacities through training that was given.

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

FFS were first implemented in 1989 in Indonesia by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and partners. It was designed to give an answer to the then dominating top down approaches. Since then, the concept has played an important role in various implementations.


During FFS a group of 20-25 people meets once a week/month at training fields. Through the guidance of a facilitator the skills and knowledge of the farmers are improved. New practices are tested and validated, and an informed decision making is fostered. Best practice examples are presented, but the decision for the best solution is left to the farmers. FFS guide through at least one cultivation process to give participants the possibility to implement new methods successfully.


There is numerous material on how to best develop and implement FFS in general. The building blocks will present the most important aspects that were identified during the FFS that were held in Tajikistan by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V. as implementing partner.

Impactos positivos

During the FFS more than 700 farmers (57% female) were reached in 6 thematic and 2 evaluation sessions. Workshops were spread over a growing season to provide support from sowing to harvesting and the subsequent preparation for the next season.


Impacts on farmers' living

  • Diversified household diet
  • Less risk of total failure of harvest
  • Increased food security
  • Increased capacity (e.g. preparatory techniques) and problem solving skills
  • Increased self-reliance

Impacts on biodiversity

  • Behavioral change of farmers towards natural resources
  • Newly created habitats (living fences, planting trees as shelterbelts)
  • Increased crop variety and reintroduction of traditional, local crops
  • Production and application of organic fertilizer
  • Usage of intercropping
  • Farmers conserving and sharing local seeds in seedbanks

Climate change resilience

  • Designing contour lines properly and contour ploughing
  • No/low tillage techniques
  • Water management (improved furrow irrigation and water harvesting)
  • Reseeding of rain-fed pasture land

Social Impacts

  • Strengthened local collaboration and community building
  • Strengthened local knowledge
  • Exchange of information between farmers living in different regions


Deutsche Welthungerhilfe

We would love to present a story here. Due to COVID-19 it is unfortunately not possible to conduct field visits. If longer meetings are possible before the end of the project we will publish a story here later. In the meantime you are welcome to look at other stories and solutions from the project:



Contribuido por

Thure de Frenne Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH