INNOVATIONS

Farmer Business School: a systematic approach to inclusive agri-enterprise development

INNOVATIONS

Farmer Business School: a systematic approach to inclusive agri-enterprise development

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    IMPACT AREAS
  • Poverty reduction, livelihoods & jobs
  • Gender equality, youth & social inclusion
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    GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE
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    TYPE OF INNOVATION
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    Biophysical science
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    Genetic (varieties and breeds)
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    Production systems and management practices
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    Research and communication methodologies and tools
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    Social science
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    MATURITY LEVEL

Policy or practice changed

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    STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT

Taken up by ‘next users’

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    DURATION

Start date: 2010 | End date: Ongoing

Triple S+: gender responsive options for higher yields and extended crop shelf life
Biotech potato varieties offer complete resistance to late blight disease

To help smallholders overcome the challenges of accessing markets, reduce the toll of postharvest loss, and improve their incomes, the International Potato Center (CIP) promotes the Farmer Business School (FBS) approach, a participatory, action learning process focused on product and business development. It addresses key constraints to effective market linkages, particularly limited business skills and ineffective farmer organizations. FBS consists of a series of group-based, experiential learning activities with trained facilitators over a production-marketing cycle, usually of 8–10 months. The methodology involves farmer groups taking the lead on market assessments and product development to exploit the identified market opportunities. Participants interact with other value chain actors and stakeholders such as traders and service providers.

As a tangible outcome, participants have initiated or strengthened a micro/small enterprise upon completing the FBS process. Aside from aspiring to a more profitable pro-poor farm business through innovation in marketing, enterprise and pre- and post-harvest technologies, the FBS approach seeks to empower men and women farmers, enhance trust, and encourage coordination and collaboration among farmers and other value chain actors, and ultimately, contribute to sustainable livelihoods of targeted households.

CIP first introduced FBS in Java in the early 2010s and subsequently took it to scale in several Asian countries (Philippines, India and, in collaboration with CIAT, other provinces of Indonesia) through partnerships established with large-scale IFAD investment projects. CIAT has adapted the CIP FBS approach for application in Vietnam since 2014, with funding from ACIAR. CIP recently introduced the methodology in Peru and Ecuador.

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    FUNDERS

International Fund for Agricultural Development; European Union; Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

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    PARTNERS

CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas; International Center for Tropical Agriculture; Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA); Philippine Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources (BFAR); Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); Indonesian Agency for Food Security (AFS); Meghalaya Basin Management Authority (MBMA); Philippine Local Governemnt Units (LGUs).

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    FEATURES