Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech Université Paris-Saclay

Home page

Effects of participatory approaches on change in farming practices

The case of Farmer Field Schools in West Africa

Effects of participatory approaches on change in farming practices
PhD thesis Teatske Bakker - UMR Innovation - Montpellier, 2021


The reconsideration of the intensive agriculture model has been coupled with the emergence of agro-ecology and an evolution of the representations of innovation in agriculture to support farm transitions, particularly in the case of family farming. This thesis studies the effects of Farmer Field Schools (FFS) on family farms in the cotton growing area of West Africa. FFS are a participatory advisory tool based on experiential learning and collective dynamics.

The research was conducted through a literature review and a field survey in the villages of two development projects that have used the FFS approach, in northern Togo and in southwestern Burkina Faso. In these two situations, the production systems and pedoclimatic conditions are quite similar with degradation of cultivated land and mixed farming systems. The rainfed cropping systems based on cereals, cotton and grain legumes were the subject of FFS. Northern Togo is characterized by the rapid development of vegetable gardening, which was the subject of specific FFS. We show in this work that (i) FFS are implemented in various ways ranging from technology transfer to collaborative participation ; (ii) the majority of FFS evaluations focus on short-term indicators (acquisition of knowledge, adoption of innovations, agronomic or economic performance); (iii) the way in which FFS are implemented influences the trajectories of change in practices, and in particular that the processes operating in collaborative FFS are similar to the co-design of new cropping systems adapted to local conditions; (iv) changes in cropping system practices following participation in FFS have repercussions on other sub-systems of family farms (livestock breeding, production of organic manure) non included in the attended FFS.

Thus, by evaluating contrasted FFS with participating farmers' changes in practices, we studied the effects of FFS at the cropping system and farming system levels. Our approach enabled us to propose a comprehensive evaluation method of the effects of FFS. We also provide operational recommendations for the implementation of FFS reinforcing farmers' participation and their competences in co-designing innovative farming systems linked with agroecological transitions of family farms in West Africa.

Defended on 18 may 2021

Under direction of

Stéphane de Tourdonnet et Patrick Dugué


  • Jean-Marc Meynard, INRAE, 
  • Marc Tchamitchian, INRAE,
  • Eric Malérizieux, CIRAD, 
  • Ismaïl Moumouni, Université de Parakou (Bénin),
  • Katia Roesch, AVSF, 
  • Suzanne Phillips, FAO, ,
  • Patrick Dugué, Cirad,
  • Stéphane de Tourdonnet, Institut Agro,

See also