Farmer participatory research

Farmer participatory research (FPR) is an approach, which involves encouraging farmers to engage in experiments in their own fields so that they can learn, adopt new technologies and spread them to other farmers. With the scientist acting as facilitator, farmers and scientists closely work together from initial design of the research project to data gathering, analysis, final conclusions, and follow-up actions. This step, sometimes known as “innovation evaluation” is essential for communication as well as for initiating diffusion. The main advantage of this approach is that farmers “learn by doing” and decision rules are modified on the basis of direct experience. To shape learning, interpretations of experience must provide information about what happened, why it happened and whether what happened was satisfactory or unsatisfactory. New information, technologies and concepts may be better communicated to farmers through the FPR approach.