Assessing the impact of farmer field schools on fertiliser use in China
3ie Impact Evaluation Report 25, 2015
In China, a major agricultural challenge is the inefficient use of fertiliser and the environmental effects associated with overuse. The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture is trying to address this problem by instituting farmer field schools (FFS). Existing studies suggest that insufficient farmer knowledge and information about the effects of excessive fertiliser use is one reason for inefficient rates of nitrogen fertiliser application in China.
This study by Nicholas Burger, Mary Fu, Kun Gu, Xiangping Jia, Krishna B Kumar and Guo Mingliang evaluates the effectiveness of FFS training in reducing fertiliser use for rice and tomato crops in two provinces. Overall, the study concludes that the FFS programme improved the optimal use of fertiliser for rice farmers, but had insignificant effects for tomato growers.