Farmer Climate Schools (FCS)

Farmer Climate Schools involve a more sustained approach of engaging the community to build their adaptive capacity to climate change/variability. The Farmer Climate Schools are at a conceptual stage. They use participatory and experiential methods to engage farmer participants in a discovery learning processes. The FCS starts with a basic premise that farmer participants are a rich resource in the learning process and that they bring along a wealth of experience, knowledge, and skills. The aim is to facilitate a synthesis of indigenous knowledge with existing scientific knowledge. The Farmer Climate Schools are based on the positive experience of the Andhra Pradesh Farmer Managed Groundwater Systems (APFAMGS) Project in the implementation of Farmer Water Schools.

FCS aims at demystifying the science of climate variability/change. This is made possible through a partnership with community by promoting local knowledge and skills while at the same time bringing to the community information from global research. In FCS, like minded community members form a group and get together on a regular basis (once every 15 days) to study the “how and why” of climate variability and its impact on agricultural livelihoods. The topics covered include climate change, variability, projected impacts, viable adaptation practices, and ways of integrating SLWM practices with climate variability adaptation options.

FCS is a year-long school coinciding with the monsoon and continues through different cropping seasons. FCS uses participatory and experiential methods to engage community participants in a discovery learning processes. FCS provides participants a ‘hands on learning’ experience on various factors influencing climate variability to help make rational decisions on their impact on the livelihood system.

The specific objectives of FCS are:

FCS is implemented in partnership with Climate Change Adaptation Committees (CCACs). Men and women farmers have equal opportunity to participate in the FCS. FCS farmer participants collect data on various climate factors impacting agricultural livelihoods, discuss and analyze the impact of these climate factors on agricultural livelihoods, make informed decisions on adaptive measures, and develop action plans

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