Ecuador: Greening the forest through knowledge exchange

Deforestation and soil erosion endangers the long-term sustainability of agricultural practices in Ecuador. Establishing Farmer Field Schools is an effective way to train producers to lead the transition toward more sustainable, environmentally friendly and deforestation-free agro-productive systems. 


This project (2021-2022) encompasses four components, which themselves involve several sub-components. One of the components aims at supporting the transformation of traditional production systems into sustainable, deforestation-free agro-productive systems. To achieve this, several activities are carried out, with a particular emphasis on capacity building for producers and associations of producers. FFS aim to train agricultural producers in sustainable and environmentally friendly practices for efficient soil management. They intend to strengthen producers’ capacities to apply adapted agricultural practices and comply with standards in line with market demands. Sustainability of farm practices will be introduced through the concept of farm planning methodology to enable producers to intensify production in a sustainable manner. Ultimately, the goals of the FFS are to increase producers’ productivity and hence reduced deforestation. The overarching evaluation question is to measure whether the FFS have an impact on productivity and deforestation.

Impact Evaluation timeline

Approaches to assess the impact

IE design under discussion. One viable approach to assess impact is through a quasi-experimental method (Propensity Score Matching). The idea is to evaluate effectiveness of FFS to impact productivity and deforestation by matching farmers who belong to an specific FFS (and therefore participated to the training) with farmers who did not participate in the project but with very similar observable characteristics.