Farmer's Field and Business School Toolkit

Farmer's Field and Business School Toolkit

Publication info


The Farmers' Field and Business Schools are a product of the CARE Pathways program, and focus on a learning by doing approach, putting farmers at the heart of learning and decision-making around new agricultural techniques. So far, working with FFBS has led to 65-75% adoption of improved agricultural techniques among the 50,000 women who are part of the Pathways program.

Why do we use FFBS?

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 M&E.  This helps use the platform of increasing productivity and marketing to include gender and nutrition to build the knowledge, skills and practices of women farmers in an integrated way. 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. (See picture)

Some key points about the toolkit are:

  • The training cycle follows the seasonal cycle (before, during & after) ensuring that learning and other activities are done in real time without requiring extra time from already time constrained women farmers.
  • It builds on existing groups including VSLAs, producer groups, self help groups etc that already have established social capital and governance mechanisms and 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 as well as profit and loss and to use this information to make decisions based on farmers’ specific circumstances.

Download the Innovation Brief


What are the tools?

Take a look at our tools on

You can learn more about how we came up with FFBS and its unique features here. Or, read the award-winning case study on the work with gender equality and measuring outcomes on USAID's Learning Lab.