So far, working with FFBS has led to 65% to 75% adoption of improved agricultural techniques among the 50,000 women who are part of the Pathways program.
The strength of the model is that it integrates multiple components – including sustainable agriculture practices, market engagement, gender and equity, food and nutrition security, group empowerment, and monitoring and evaluation – to build the knowledge, skills, and practices of women farmers. Integration also strengthens results across the spectrum of food and nutrition security work.
Communities told us that for them, the pieces of the training are so integrated that they are like a bicycle: Take away any piece, and it won’t work for them.
Some key points about the toolkit are:
- The training cycle follows the seasonal cycle (before, during, and after), ensuring that learning and other activities are done in real time without requiring extra commitments from already time-constrained women farmers.
- It builds on existing groups such as VSLAs, producer groups, and self-help groups that already have established social capital and governance mechanisms, and it focuses on the added value of the other Pathways components.
- It is based on adult learning principles that offer practical lessons through participatory approaches. Farmers can then translate this learning and adapt it into their own fields, creating ownership and sustainability of adoption.
- Monitoring and evaluation are built into the FFBS, enabling farmers to track progress, costs, and profit and loss and to use this information to make decisions based on their specific circumstances.