­Technology transfer is one of the core elements in a rapidly changing agricultural sector. However, the booming of agricultural innovation is not followed by the generation of methodological tools able to diffuse innovation in farmers and other stakeholders. For the last decades, Farmers Field School (FFS) approach is offering technology transfer and co-generation, infused by agricultural extension. Traditional FFS form is a learning by doing method and farmers are learning from other experienced farmers. Even though FFS has various forms which are trying to cover gaps between science and practice, there are still different methodological challenges in each FFS form. In this research, we propose a Hybrid FFS strategy, assembled by the strengths of various FFS forms and trying to close these gaps. We review and implement a meta-analysis of FFS forms, investigating these gaps. Afterwards, a comprehensive, holistic and dynamic conceptual and methodological model, derived from meta-analysis is proposed to cover the technology transfer methodological gaps. Our Hybrid FFS strategy highlight strategic questions which offer the appropriate background for establishing a strong educational strategy and overcome possible challenges. “Learning by doing” is supported from farmers to farmers as well as from experts to experts. Various stakeholders from value chain are promoted to use and be familiarized with new technologies, practical tools and the internet, as well as develop their managerial skills in value chain products. Modules cover the gaps of recent FFS approaches, by incorporating issues of sustainability and certification of value chain products, with business and entrepreneurship. Flexibility of a hybrid (virtual and physical) environment resolve complex situations (i.e. COVID-19). This methodology can be useful to policy makers managers or agricultural extension researchers, in order to construct, implement and evaluate an FFS agricultural program. Hybrid FFS strategy describes how agricultural education approaches of the past can create educational environments of the future and lead learning accelerators in agricultural sector.
Agricultural extension, applied research, CIPP model, evaluation, Farmers Field School, technology transfer
I21, I25