Tourism has been the major industry for more than two decades but the farmers of Zanzibar are not benefitting from the estimated 1.2 million tourists that visit the island annually. Once known for its spice plantations, large percent of Zanzibar’s land remain uncultivated and they import more than 70 % of vegetables and fruits (Nyang and Webo, 2012: 154).
This paper proposes the use of farmer field schools in Zanzibar to help smallholder farmers make decisions, solve problems and obtain new techniques and skills. Farmers can reap a lot of benefits if they can apply what they will be taught in these schools. The farmers will also increase their productivity and profits through sharing knowledge with neighbors.
There is a great need for field schools because: smallholder farmers in Zanzibar have very little knowledge on modern farming methods, many of them didn’t attend school and they only use conventional farming practices on their farm. Arable land in Zanzibar could be increased a great deal with introduction of these schools.
Improving quality and productivity through group access to production, extension and training services and reduce cost of production through purchasing of farm inputs (including fertilizers, seeds and other equipment) in large volumes.
The use of farmer field schools approach as an analytical framework began in South-East Asia in the 1980s and has played a big role in the farming sector. Farmer field schools approach has changed dramatically. The impact of rapid and sustained agricultural productivity in farming practices of Zanzibar is highlighted in literature. As put by Dixon et al, (2001: 108), factors that determine the growth potential of a farming system include: favorable access to services and infrastructure and appropriate resource endowments.
This research is based on the assumptions that smallholder farmers of Zanzibar have little or no knowledge