ANDES education program take a horizontal cooperative learning approach involving knowledge and experience exchange between farmers, policy-makers, students, NGOs, scientists, and others at the local, national and international levels. Workshops and learning experiences promote bridging knowledge systems, integrating traditional knowledge and science, ancient and modern worldviews, linking practitioners and policy-makers, men and women, young and old with a underlying focus of local to global linkages.
At the local level, Farmer Field Schools (FFS) use a horizontal, participative methodology to help farmers make decisions, solve problems and acquire new skills and techniques. FFS provide a safe environment where farmers from different communities can hold discussions in their native tongue, Quechua, and draw
from their reality.
ANDES and smallholder farmers, develop the FFS content according to the needs and aspirations. Topics covered include the Andean agricultural system, food sovereignty, adaptation strategies for climate change, and alternative models of community development . Participants revalue their ancestral knowledge and empower themselves. An elder comments, “ We the elders have knowledge that we have always kept and shared with our children and grandchildren.” In the Farmers´School we can share and come to new understandings with the contributions of all the participants.