A partnership between Organic Denmark (OD), National Organic Agriculture Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU) and Sustainable Agriculture Trainers’ Network (SATNET) established in 2009 has produced fruitful results among the smallholder organic farmers in the naturally endowed mountainous parts of Uganda. The partnership worked on establishing an approach that would encourage farmers to own their development process. This approach now called Farmer Family Learning Groups was being referred to as Farmer Field Schools during the pilot project. While the conventional FFS often is based on establishing a central learning garden and learning involves the growth cycle of the enterprise in question, the FFLG approach considers each farm as being unique and as a special learning entity. The approach therefore, involves farmers rotating from one farm to another to learn and support the particular farm in respect to its uniqueness. The approach also promotes whole household participation. The facilitator who basically guides the learning stirs farmers into developing confidence within and among themselves in the organic production processes, using agro-ecological farming methods and practices which are economically, environmentally, socially and institutionally sustainable. The participants evaluated which change in their families was the most significant as a result of having been members of FFLG. In a process of collecting all the results from all groups, the ‘Most Significant Change’ achieved was increased interaction in communities as the epicenter to improving smallholder farmer livelihoods. This paper presents aspects of this.
Biodiversity; Social Capital; common learning; facilitation; farmer family interaction