Farmer field schools

Empowering farmers with the knowledge and skills to make sustainable, long-term positive change and combat the effects of climate change.

“The farmer field school is important for farmers because it helps them learn sustainable techniques that increases their yields and future proofs against climate change.” – Christian Kadangah, Director of IADES-Togo



In 2022 it is more vital than ever before that we have an even stronger focus on climate action and the protection of natural resources.

Smallholder farmers contribute the least to climate change and yet they are the most affected by it, already experiencing changes in their environment, such as higher temperatures and irregular rainfall.

Climate change and unsustainable farming practices together with population growth, have all put pressure on Togo’s natural resources, including its land, water, forests, and biodiversity.

Land degradation now affects about 85% of Togo’s arable land and is very pronounced where Deki works in the Maritime region.

Soils with low fertility are nutrient poor and produce lower yields. Degraded land cannot absorb water as well as healthy soils, making it more susceptible to flooding and droughts and therefore increases the risk of crops being lost.


Since small scale farmers rely on natural resources to sustain their livelihoods and well being, they have a vital role to play in protecting the land around them.

Together, with our partner in Togo, we have created a Farmers Field School which promotes the adoption of sustainable land management practices.

The training gives small holder farmers the knowledge to protect their land, forests and water, whilst improving their productivity and helping them to combat the effects of climate change and make sustainable, long-term positive change.

Farmer Field Schools are experimental fields created to facilitate hands-on learning to improve skills and knowledge that will help to empower individuals and cooperatives to move towards more sustainable practices and to improve livelihoods. A trained facilitator guides a group of 20-30 farmers through a series of workshops covering topics such as soil fertility, crop rotation, and fertiliser use.

The Field School runs over the course of a full growing season during which farmers are encouraged to try out new ideas on two plots – a control plot and a learning plot, which allows the group to see the outcomes of their learnings.

By promoting good practices in sustainable forest and land management, the aims of the Farmer Field School project is multi-faceted.


To improve the cooperatives’ resilience to climate change
Improve future yields
Improve soil fertility through integrating organic matter into the cultural practices of producers
Reduce mineral fertiliser use

An important part of the project is for the farmers to share their knowledge of sustainable farming methods, and to raise awareness of the effects of climate change amongst the rest of their cooperative and community.

Our continuing goal to tackle climate change includes ensuring that there is a Farmers Field School in every area where we work, so that we can prioritise the learning of those who are most vulnerable to climate change.

A donation of £500 could create a new Farmer Field School on land borrowed from a cooperative or village and would facilitate six months of training in sustainable farming methods.

Help us to create a world of opportunity, not poverty