Under the initiative of Dr Iftikhar Ahmad (late), SOFT came in to being a private sector custodian of FFS learning system for professional facilitators working across Pakistan. SOFT is a not for profit society created in 2009, after a 10 years of implementation of FFS-based IPM in Pakistan. It was created by a group of professionals with a mission to empower people through developing capacities of individuals, groups and institutions to pursue sustainable and peaceful livelihood development through FFS learning system without compromising their freedom and quality of life.
The SOFT Pakistan want to empower people through promoting, supporting and advancing their living skills to enjoy a sustainable livelihood without compromising their freedom & quality of life.
Means to Achieve Mission
Social mobilization, networking and capacity development of rural individuals, groups and networks at grass root level.
Pro-poor Advocacy and Networking for the socio-economic rights and entitlements of farmers and farm labour.
Sustainability and Institutional building of SOFT.
Stamping Pakistan’s mark on the globe with a movement that has no parallel, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad is known as the pioneer of successful FFS approach and founder of FFS-IPM Movement in Pakistan. He played a pivotal role in the establishment of FFS-IPM family representative Society, the SOFT, a network of facilitators and Trainers cadre in Pakistan. SOFT is the leading society which represents hundreds of facilitation and training professionals in Pakistan. Under the incomparable supervision of Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, SOFT is blessed with one of the best leading founding members of their professions.
SOFT have 34 founding members who represents a diversified professional background serving in renowned national and international organizations at key positions along with a good representation from farmer organizations established under FFS-IPM movement in Pakistan.
News and Updates
SOFT want to empower people through promoting, supporting and advancing their living skills to enjoy a sustainable livelihood without compromising their freedom and equality of life.
Skill Development Program
Enterprise Development Program
Production Management and Ecological Conservation Program
Communication of Rural Innovations Program
SOFT EMPOWERING PEOPLE SINCE 2009
Women and Youth
- Men graduated from SOFT Learning System 68%
- Women and Youth graduated from SOFT Learning System 32%
Programs Initiative’s Investment Share
Farmer Field School Learning System
Specialized Participatory Training Events
Food Security & Homestead Gardening
Agribusiness & Entrepreneurship Development
SOFT emerged from the last 10 years efforts of IPM-FFS Professionals from the platform of National IPM Programme implemented in different phases all over the country and was registered under Society Act 1860 in 2009.
SOFT represents a Network of 43 organizations of smallholder farmers that have emerged as a result of IPM-FFS Programme through out Pakistan by sharing responsibility and resources for empowering members of the network.
Alliance 2030 is a partnership of 40+ like minded smallholder farmers organizations working in the field of empowering people through inquiry based field school learning system to combat rising hunger and malnutrition.
FFS Institutionalization in Pakistan
SOFT Learning System Models and Approaches
SOFT is globally recognized as private sector custodian of Farmer Field School learning system in Pakistan. It represent a Cadre of renowned professionals as its Volunteer members.
Farmer Field School
FFS is a season long school without walls for making farmers expert on crop production system. It is an extension approach to build the capacity smallholder farmers with a paradigm of farmers, extensionists and scientists working together!
Training of Facilitators
Training of Facilitators (ToF) is a season long participatory capacity building model for developing a facilitator’s cadre who run the FFS.
Farmers Training of Facilitators
FToF and ToF are almost same with respect to training components and contents while under this approach farmers are trained as facilitators after graduation from FFS and later the farmer facilitator takes lead on facilitating FFS activity in their villages and local areas.
Post Farmer Field School
The FFS does not end with the graduation, as in many cases the FFS group expresses a need for more training, either in the same focal activity or in a different enterprise or commodity. Under Post-FFS farmers work in small groups of 5-6 under the supervision and support of facilitator and master facilitators.
Irrigation Field School
Irrigation Field School is a farmers school without walls with a major focus on Irrigation and Water Management and water tools specifically. It uses of different learning models like Discovery Learning, Collaborative Problem Solving and Value Management with modern irrigation tools, technology and methods for getting appropriate information, knowledge and skill to process decision is the main difference in IFS and FFS.
Women Open School
WOS is a novel mechanism for experiential learning and skill development of rural women. It started with training on “Pesticide Risk Reduction” and later covers other areas like kitchen/homestead gardening, small enterprise development (goat and chicken farming, vegetable seed production), health and hygeine, value addition etc
Farmer-led Research Group
A Farmer-led Research Group (FRG) idea is the new version from SOFT as part of its Program i.e. Communication of Rural Innovations” with understanding as a main component of farmer to farmer learning process. In FRG’s, FFS trained farmer contribute local scientific efforts to solve local research questions, issues and problems locally.
Children Ecological Club / Youth Ecological School
CEC/YES is a non formal education system which educate the future farmers (children) on ecosystem components including gardening, food gardening, recognition of pests and beneficial organisms, wildlife, pesticides handling and hazards and their role in community participatory actions.
Homestead Village Garden
A homestead village garden (HVG) is a shared space in the village where people gather together to grow vegetables, fruits, medicinal plants and flowers and rearing chicks and livestock mostly on participatory or collective basis. HVG’s vary widely in their structure, purpose and format. They can consist of individual plots, collective plots, or a combination of the two.
Farmer Business School - Integrated
Farmer Business School is an advance level of FFS or integrated in the curriculum of FFS approach. The FBS training programme aim is to build farmers’ capacity in entrepreneurial and management skills through a “learning by doing” approach. The programme aims at developing farmer’s skills and competencies in business while improving their knowledge, changing their attitudes towards farming as a business and producing for the market.
Agritecturist Business College
a new participatory learning approach “Agriculturists Business Colleges (ABC’s)” model Based on adage “To Change the Picture, Picture the Change”, a new discipline “Agritecture” is introduced which means building agri-business plans through Dreaming-Designing-Doing (3D) skills and services to develop smallholders capacities on 3D tool to develop farm business plans & models to produce sustainable with business of their decent produce, needs and skills at online/offline advance agribusiness and marketing system with a common brand idea.
Seed Seedling & Sapling Bank
3S Bank is a Farming Community Collective Enterprise for sustainable business of seed, seedling and sapling production, multiplication and distribution for quality germplasm at local level. It is a participatory business model for smallholders working with food security, facility and livelihood development under FFS learning system model.
SOFT Knowledge Center
SOFT has developed several learning material for Facilitators and Trainers working on facilitation process, farmer field school learning system and other training programs in English and local languages. It has also developed global partnership for exchange of innovative learning resources with FAO FFS Global Platform, Rome, Access Agriculture and agtube.org of Kenya
Homestead Village Gardening Manual
Manual for community collective Homestead Gardening……..
8 Manuals on Livestock Farmer Field School Approach
8 Manuals for Livestock FFS Facilitators and Trainers in English and Urdu language…….
Producer Marketing Groups Business Record Book
A set of 9 Color registers for Producer Marketing Group business record keeping……