Assessment of Lifelong Learning for farmers: Impact on rural poverty eradication in Commonwealth Countries
Commonwealth of learning’s lifelong learning for farmers is a partnership progamme designed to bring together farmers, learning institutions, banks and information and communication technology providers to facilitate learning for development in the rural areas. The programme is in response to the critical need for information resulting from agricultural research and development which often fail to reach the target farmers in rural areas in the developing world where it is most needed. This is as a result of the ineffectiveness of extension workers to serve farmers due to the high extension: farmer ratio; and the large scale expansion of learning required to achieve the millennium development goals which the conventional face-to-face learning cannot address. The programme empowered the vulnerable farmers and their families to gain knowledge on skill development, increase their productivity, food security and liberate agricultural communities from socio-economic constraints. The project started in India in 2004 and the success of the initiative led to its introduction in other common wealth countries. Lifelong learning for farmers has resulted in improvement of quality of their produce and equally improved their incomes leading to significant improvement in livelihoods of the rural poor and hence reduces poverty. This makes it an inevitable tool for rural community development and a means for the achievement of Millennium Development Goals of eradicating hunger and poverty. // Paper ID: 119
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