Family Farm Teams for greater inclusion and better farming

Family Farm Teams (FFT) training of trainers session in Port Vila Vanuatu.

 PHAMA Plus is working with export partners across the Pacific to improve productivity, quality and enhance farmers’ access to information and inputs.

Typically, such services are delivered by male extension officers to male farmers and there can be limited participation of women or other family members in education and training. Women in particular face limited access to resources such as extension services, agricultural information and supplies.

Women also play a key role in farming families as caregivers for children and the elderly which are not often recognised and valued and which impacts their ability to pursue income-generating activities.

To address these issues, PHAMA Plus is introducing the Family Farm Teams (FFT) program to our partners to encourage more effective, sustainable and gender equitable farming and business practices. The FFT program will also explore ways to develop and facilitate the business acumen, skills and knowledge of women farmers.

Background:

  • The FFT approach was developed in Papua New Guinea with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
  • It uses a peer education approach and trains local farmers as Village Community Educators (VCEs) to train others in their families and communities.
  • It provides a female and male family head from a household with a series of workshops and family activities that will enable them to work as a family team to development and plan their agricultural activities.

What we are doing:
PHAMA Plus is working with a number of partners including Kokonas Indastri Koporesen (PNG), Kosem Coffee (PNG), USO Agrifoods (Samoa), Lami Kava (Fiji), Nishi Trading (Tonga) and South Pacific Elixirs (Fiji) to roll out the FFT approach to farming households which supply them with produce. PHAMA Plus will train partners through family-based learning modules that can be delivered in conjunction with other agricultural information. The workshops are held in local venues to ensure that women do not have to leave their families and farms for extended periods.
In recognition of the range of literacy levels in the community, the program adapts content and delivery to enable full participation by all levels of literacy

The aim of the FFT program is to enable and facilitate farming households to work together as a family team and collaboratively plan the development of their agricultural and family activities. Participants can also include other family members, such as extended family and youth, or other family types, such as women-headed households or polygamous families.

Next steps:
PHAMA Plus will build on the experience in PNG by adapting the FFT approach in other Pacific Island countries.

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