Recent research on the Farmer Field School (FFS) approach in agriculture in developing countries has shown that FFS training has increased the knowledge (and in some cases) performance of trained farmers. However, several researchers found that the economic impacts of this concept and especially the knowledge diffusion effects from trained to non-trained farmers might not justify the high costs of this approach. Based on a study in Senegal in 2004, the authors hypothesized that training intensity is vital when analyzing knowledge-diffusion effects of FFS in Africa. OLS and logistic models are applied in order to identify the impact of training intensity on diffusion of information from FFS participants to non-participants. Results showed that the share or percentage of trained farmers in a community is a decisive factor for diffusion of information. The results of this study have implications for defining a critical mass of trained farmers per village to attain effective dissemination of information and to generate positive stimuli for adoption and learning among non-participants of FFS. The methodology developed for this paper is believed to be innovative and sound and the results can contribute much to a better understanding of Farmer Field Schools as an extension tool in developing countries.
Keywords: Farmer Field School, Diffusion, Agricultural Extension, Africa