Farmer to Farmer (F2F) approach for sustained livelihood
Save the Children continued providing the technical support to Farmers’ Groups in Udayapur amid COVID-19 pandemic, through its Farmer to Farmer (F2F) approach. Farmers were chosen to support other farmers of the community, as movement of outsiders in the village was not possible during the lockdown.
The F2F approach was started in coordination with Local Resource Persons (LRPs) and lead farmers developed by Child Sensitive Livelihood and Social Protection (CLSP) I project. LRPs and lead farmers identified major problems and challenges faced by farmers and discussed those with the Agriculture Technicians (ATs) of the project. ATs provided technical inputs and guidance to lead farmers via phone, texts, and messaging apps, who transferred the knowledge to individual farmers. As LRPs and Lead Farmers were chosen from the same community, they were able to provide on-site support to farmers, adopting all the precautionary measures to be safe from the infection of COVID-19.
Because of F2F approach, the farmers were able to curb the spread of American Fall Army Worm which saved around 850 hectors of maize crops. LRPs and Lead Farmers with the advice from ATs coordinated with the Agriculture Knowledge Centre and local government to take lead in spraying insecticides in the farms of community farmers. As the spread was observed during lockdown, technical team could not support the farmers in person. However, Farmer to Farmer approach proved to be beneficial.
The project team on the other hand continued the coordination with suppliers and local government for the purchase and supply of agriculture input to the farmers. Lead farmers provided technical support to 1305 farmers, in the period of four months while 578 farmers were able to raise nursery for rainy season. As a result of this effort, the local farmers sold 29 Metric Tons vegetables in the local market during lockdown. F2F approach was also effective to provide the local farmers with the information on COVID-19.
“I contacted group members to control the insect spreading on cucumber and one of the group members suggested to apply the medicine along with the application method. This knowledge was disseminated by project technical staff through telephone during lock down. Because of this approach, I was able to protect my cucumbers from the insects and earned 16000 rupees by selling the cucumbers during that time”, shares one of the farmers, Kamal Bahadur Karki.
Because of the effectiveness, CLSP II project has continued the approach and believe this can be helpful for the sustainability of commercial vegetable production and income generation, even after the project phases out.
Authored by Deepak Raj Budhathoki, Project Coordinator, Livelihood, and Social Protection.
photo credit- Mangal Khunaha, Project Coordinator and Chet Raj Shrestha, Project Officer – Child Development Society