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Costa Rican technicians from the livestock sector improve their skills with respect to the methodological approach of Field Schools
- They participate in virtual working sessions with the objective of sharing experiences and improving knowledge on methodologies to train livestock producers
August 27, 2020. Strengthening the capacities in the use of participatory tools and the methodology of the Field School FFS (ECA, its Spanish acronym) of Costa Rican technicians linked to the livestock sector who are in charge of extension processes in public and private institutions, is the main objective of a series of virtual working sessions that began this August 27 and will last until October 8, under the coordination of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG, its Spanish acronym), with technical support from CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) and in collaboration with the Costa Rican Livestock Corporation (CORFOGA, its Spanish acronym) and the National Chamber of Milk Producers (CNPL, its Spanish acronym).
100 technicians from both MAG and CORFOGA, CNL, the School of Agricultural Economics of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), the National Learning Institute (INA. its Spanish acronym), Fundecooperación For Sustainable Development and technical members of multiple regional chambers are participating in the working sessions.
"The aim is for these technicians to strengthen their capacities in the methodological approach of FFS and to be able to apply concepts from what they have learned in the training processes they carry out with livestock producers throughout Costa Rica," explained Francisco Casasola, the CATIE researcher in charge of the training.
During the working sessions, current experiences will be shared on the methodologies used by different Costa Rican institutions to strengthen the capacities of livestock producers. In addition, participatory exercises and the methodology of FFS will be studied, tools that facilitate the transfer of knowledge to livestock producers, so that they can adopt new technologies and practices on their farms in an easier and safer way.
The different sessions will be given by CATIE researchers, some of them experts from the Biodiversity and Sustainable Agro-silvopastoral Landscapes project, known as BioPaSOS, as well as an expert from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala.
According to Casasola, spaces like this are important for technicians to improve their knowledge and skills, allowing them to encourage producers to seek solutions to the challenges they currently face on livestock farms.
In addition, Jorge Segura, coordinator of MAG's National Livestock Program, said that these working sessions are an agreement of the Livestock Roundtable, an inter-institutional space created by the Low Carbon Livestock Strategy (EDGBC, its Spanish acronym), which will facilitate more efficient extension on livestock farms through the use of FFS, where producers, among other things, learn from producer to producer, replicating the best experiences and proving in the field that changes are possible and improve their profitability and adaptation to climate change.
"The FFS methodology will allow us, in the years to come, to be more efficient and multiply the impact of the best techniques and knowledge so that our producers continue to improve their systems in the face of the new challenges of the sector," Segura said.
This methodology has been widely implemented by CATIE in the Central American region. It is currently being successfully developed by the Center's Livestock and Environmental Management Unit (GAMMA) in livestock projects in Mexico, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Colombia.
Livestock and Environmental Management Unit
Karla Salazar Leiva
Information Technology and Communication