Higher yields, income & leaf quality

In Malawi some 70 Farmer Field Schools are now up and running, led by a total of 38 facilitators with a total number of 2115 farmers taking part in the process.

The Farmer Field Schools (FFS) approach is a bottom-up need based programme, running for 12 months, reaching large numbers of farmers at relatively low-cost, and is recognised as one of the most effective mechanism to generate improvements for smallholder tea farmers.

At the start of the training cycle farmers are consulted about key issues affecting both their tea crop and farm so that the training can be designed around their needs. The FFS curriculum has covered topics such as: weeding, fertilizer application, plucking rounds, planting, tipping, mulching.

Together IDH and ETP (Ethical Tea Partnership) have rolled out the FFS methodology in Malawi, ETP providing full-time support and quality checking on about 35 FFS per month.