Farmer to Farmer Learning Materials for Agroecology
Campesino a Campesino, the Farmer to Farmer Movement for sustainable agriculture got its start in Central America in the early 1970’s. Today the Farmer to Farmer method is widely recognized as one of the best ways to develop and promote agroecology. In the early days, however, the men and women of the Farmer to Farmer Movement worked without official support or recognition as they desperately sought to restore ecosystem functions and productivity on their farms—many of which had been seriously degraded by the chemical inputs of the Green Revolution.
To learn together and to teach each other sustainable agriculture, farmers formed teams and carried out small-scale experimentation, then they shared their results at workshops and on-farm visits. A farmer to farmer pedagogy developed. Farmers not only shared information and techniques, they shared abstract agroecological concepts, knowledge and wisdom. They didn’t want to just share what to do, they wanted to share how and why their agroecological methods worked. And they shared in very innovative ways using models, demonstrations, games, songs, poems and stories. In 1992 the Nicaragua-based Mesoamerican Information System for Sustainable Agriculture (SIMAS) documented these learning methods in a set of illustrated flyers called La Canasta Metodológica—the methodological basket.
To learn together and to teach each other sustainable agriculture, farmers formed teams and carried out small-scale experimentation, then they shared their results at workshops and on-farm visits. A farmer to farmer pedagogy developed
La Canasta Metodológica quickly spread across Latin America as farmers used the different activities in their workshops, in classrooms and in village meetings. Because of their simple elegance, the learning methods were even picked up by high schools and universities. As the desire to learn agroecology has grown worldwide, the need for appropriate learning materials that are by and for farmers has also grown. Unfortunately, the Canasta Metodológica is long out of print.
Food First has recovered the original folders from the Canasta Metodológica and translated them into English and French for use outside of Latin America. We’ve offer them here as PDF files for your use and inspiration. Viva Campesino a Campesino!
Materials in Spanish
La Canasta Metodológica – Spanish version
Materials in English