Browsing 05. Conference Proceedings & Working Papers by Subject "Agriculture"
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- ItemOpen AccessAlternative Learning Platforms for Agri-Students through e-Mediation: An initiative of agMOOCs(2019-09) Jirli, Basavaprabhu; Sarma, Birinchi Kumar; Singh, AbhishekAgricultural education in India is offered through a network of 75 State Agricultural Universities, f ive Deemed Universities , four Central Universities with faculty of Agriculture, three Central Agricultural Universities and few privately owned colleges of agriculture affiliated to traditional sta te universities. Each Agricultural University has a number of constituent colleges. However, p aucity of quality faculty has remained an emerging issue. S pecialization of the faculty also matter s while imparting education. Providing q uality inputs to the learners spread over large geographical area demands e - Mediation. One such platform was created by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur entitled “agMOOCs” in 2015 .The courses offered through the platform h a ve attracted participa nts from eve ry state of India and seven countries. The paper is a partial analysis of the efforts of agMOOC s in penetrating agricultural education system as an alternative platform for students of agriculture and allied sciences . More than tw o lakh learners have accessed courses so far . The feedback of learners is highly encouraging. So far the author s ha ve offered t hree courses in agMOOC s platform during 2017 and 2018 . The highest number of learners registered in a course was 48 84 . There is an increasing trend in number of registrations on the platform, which shows effectiveness of the course s and penetration among agricultural fraternity. Age of majority registered learners was up to 24 years (76 per cent). More than 65 per cent offered courses to enhance their knowledge. Home was the most preferred place of access (65 per cent). About 60 percent learners preferred the agMOOCs app to access course contents. Gender and preference of app are not independent of each other, Gender and age of participants are not independent, there was no association between range of learners and relevancy of quiz. There exists association between range of learners and pace of content delivery. //Paper ID 40
- ItemOpen AccessBlended Learning using agMOOCs as a Tool for Professional Development: A Case of Students of Agriculture in India(2022-09) Jirli, Basavaprabhu; Maji, SaikatPCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations // According to University Grants Commission (a body of Government of India) Blended learning is an instructional methodology, a teaching and learning approach that combines face-to-face classroom methods with computer mediated activities to deliver instruction. agMOOCs a learning platform for students of agriculture and allied sciences has developed 22 MOOCs so far on agriculture and allied sciences since 2015. The platform was developed by Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (India) in collaboration with Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver. Of which the author has offered three courses on agricultural extension. More than two million students have accessed the courses on agMOOCs platform and benefitted in their learning activities. In the last couple of years during the global pandemic period the educational activities were also facing difficulties. An effort was made to adopt the blended learning methodology for masters’ students of agriculture at Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. The method of participant observation and discussion with learners were used to collect the data. Whole enumeration was the sample size. The data was analysed using descriptive qualitative methods by adopting steps viz., i. quick data, ii. Coding data, iii. Qualitative analysis and Quantitative analysis iv. Interpretation of results. Students were asked to go through the videos, PPTs and transcripts available on the platform before coming to the class. The classes were organised in hybrid mode (online as well as offline). The respective topics scheduled for the day were discussed in the class instead of explaining the contents as in case of regular classes. The results of the study reveal that 1. Enhancement in the grasping ability of students 2. Improvement in analysing the concepts and contents of the course 3. Enhanced interaction with course instructor 4. Surge in academic discussion abilities of learners 5. Augmentation in framing questions to be asked in the classroom. The challenges while using the methodology include maintaining learners interest over a period of time, preparation of contents for circulation before to be brief enough and providing exhaustive resources for the learners. // Paper ID 4289
- ItemOpen AccessCapacity Building in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) for Agricultural Development in Zambia(2008) Chikoye, Mungule D; Siaciwena, RichardIn its efforts to reduce poverty and improve food security, the Government of Zambia has given priority to agriculture. However, this sector faces a lot of challenges such as the need for trained human resource. // In order to address this challenge, agricultural training institutions need to supply adequate trained human resource to the agricultural sector. One of such institutions is the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC), which is the only public institution offering diploma courses in various fields of agriculture. However, due to inadequate resources and limited physical facilities, NRDC cannot meet the human resource needs of this sector from its residential courses. // As a means of increasing its capacity, the College has introduced an ODL programme. Since the college has no experience in ODL, there was a need to develop capacity in this area. Therefore the In-Service Trust of Zambia (ISTT) and the Directorate of Distance Education (DDE) at the University of Zambia (UNZA) developed a capacity development programme in consultation with NRDC. // The first phase of the programme involved conducting training workshops in Instructional Design and Materials Development. This was because an analysis of the characteristics and situational circumstances of prospective learners showed that the print medium would be the most appropriate mode of delivery. Subsequent training activities will concentrate on other aspects of ODL such as management and learner support. // The paper highlights the importance of agriculture in Zambia and the rationale for adopting ODL in developing human resources for the agricultural sector at NRDC. It also describes the nature of the programme, the output from the first phase and the level of commitment by the college management to provide the necessary resources for the programme, a critical success factor. // Paper ID 560
- ItemOpen Accesse-Choupal: The Power of ICT for Farmers’ Empowerment in India(2013-11) Sharma, Kapil DChoupal in Hindi language means a village gathering place. Taking this gathering place to the virtual world, ITC (one of the India’s largest and oldest business conglomerates) introduced the e – Choupal to empower rural India in the year 2000. It places computers with Internet access in rural farming villages and serves as a place of exchange of information and an e – commerce access point. It is a low cost system which focuses on the need of the rural farmers by removing their isolation and providing transparent system in their interest. // e – Choupal provides better supply chain for ITC’s food and agri businesses. It enables reach to the underserved rural markets. For rural farmers it caters new IT enabled services and business opportunities i. e. health, education, entertainment, and e – governance. It increases shareholder’s value through serving the society. The critical success factors of e – Choupal are comprehensive knowledge of rural markets, designing a win – win transaction model, leveraging the logistics channel, selection of Sanchalak (operator), evolving an appropriate user interface and bottom-up model for entrepreneurship. // The e – Choupal model shows that a large corporation can play a major role in recognizing markets and increasing the efficiency of an agricultural system. The case also uncovers the key role of information technology – in this case provided and maintained by a corporation – but utilized by local farmers. This access to information helps farmers in improving the quality of produce and obtaining better prices. Elected from the village itself, a literate farmer acts as the interface between the illiterate farmers and the computer. The model shows that a large corporation can combine a social mission and an ambitious commercial venture, that it can play a major role in rationalizing markets and increasing the efficiency of an agriculture system, and do so in ways that benefit rural communities. // The proposed case study will be covering the background, the impact, key elements of empowerment, issues, lessons, determinants for success and long term assessment of the system’s productivity and efficiency levels. // Paper ID: 80
- ItemOpen AccessEmergence of Traditional Women Goat Rearers to a Corporate Company: The Role of Open and Distance Learning and Life Long Learning Programme(2022-09) Perumal, Thamizoli; Kothandaraman, Balasubramanian; Keppanan, KamarajPCF10 Sub-theme: Fostering Lifelong Learning // Learning needs of the farming community is massive but the opportunities available to address the needs are limited. Farming practices are changing very fast due to multiple reasons like climate crisis, globalization, and demands from the markets, technology advancements etc., hence the farmers learning needs are changing fast. Increasing use of mobile phones, higher penetration rate in rural India and advantages of Mobile Learning made mobile phones an effective learning tool particularly among the women farmers whose mobility and opportunities for learning is restricted due to various socio economic and cultural factors. In the year 2009 around 300 women goat rearers who are members of Self Help Groups received credit from a commercial bank for buying goats, the trust and credibility strengthened the bond and helped the women to receive continuous credit support. For better management of goat rearing and to ensure profit these women showed interest to learn about improved management practices. To meet the demands of the women goat rarers Vidiyal an NGO and Vidivelli a Community Based Organization together introduced mobile based Life long learning for Farmers (L3F) programme with the support of Commonwealth of Learning. The lessons were disseminated through simple button phones as voice messages on daily basis. With the support of the National Bank for Agriculture and Development around 2500 women goat rearers came together in 2014 and registered a Farmers Producer Organization (FPO) called ‘Theni Women Goat rearers Producer Company’. Now the company is managed by a set of women goat rearers, it has provided dividend to its shareholders for the last four years. The company is emerging as a model in the region, other 12 such FPOs in the region are now joined with this and created a consortium of FPOs for mutual learning and to leverage the scale in the business. // The paper will discuss in detail about the characteristics of the learners, learning needs of the farmers, pedagogical approach adopted, learning outcomes, access and experiences of mobile phones for learning, gender constrains etc. It will also discuss about the FPOs management, how the women farmers become corporate literates and managing the company successfully. // Paper ID 5619
- ItemOpen AccessEmpowerment of Agricultural Skills through Distance Education at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University(2010-11) Santhy, P; Jothi, G; Valluvaparidasan, VThe Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, a century old renowned institution committed for the development of agricultural education and research in the state of Tamil Nadu has ventured an innovative approach of commissioning open and distance learning programmes since 2005 for the benefit of various segments of the farming community viz., farm women, rural youths, school dropouts, students and self help groups through its certificate courses which are skill oriented. // Certificate programmes of 21 numbers in the regional language of Tamil are offered. Some of the important courses are: • Mushroom Cultivation • Waste recycling and vermicomposting • Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables • Preparation of Bakery and Confectionary Products • Propagation of Nursery Techniques Bee keeping // These courses are designed to upgrade the technical skill of farmers and to disseminate latest technologies related to the field of Agriculture. These courses are uniquely designed to create self-confidence, self employment and to enhance the income generated by the individual. // Moreover a set of certificate programmes (5), are also designed and offered, catering to the needs of those who live in urban areas viz., • Landscaping and Ornamental Gardening • Commercial Horticulture • Soil Fertility Management • Mushroom Cultivation • Coconut cultivation // Undergoing these programme not only bring them income but also make their life in more productive environment and beneficial to the society. The learners are exposed to practical situation and environment to gain knowledge and skill to be on par with regular students, which is a unique approach in the ODL mode at TNAU.
- ItemOpen AccessFarmer education and training (FARM-ED): enhancing access to agricultural education in Africa(2013-11) Chancellor, T C B; Hanlin, R E; Long, L-A; Dhlamini, N; Yaye, AThe vast majority of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)are smallholders, many of whom are women, who have limited access to inputs and markets and face a growing number of production challenges. Few young people are being attracted into agriculture because they see better opportunities elsewhere. New knowledge can help farmers to significantly enhance their productivity and income and stimulate the creation of rural businesses, but such knowledge is not available in many rural communities. An innovative Pan-African initiative on farmer education and training in SSA (FARM-ED) aims to address these issues by exploiting the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and emerging information and communication technologies. // FARM-ED draws on the lessons from successful large-scale OER programmes in the education and health sectors, run by the UK Open University (OU) in collaboration with local partners in Africa and South Asia. These programmes have demonstrated how high quality learning materials can reach substantial numbers of people within a short period of time. A key feature of the approach is to establish partnerships which bring in relevant expertise and facilitate local ownership. FARM-ED is led by a consortium of knowledge institutions including the OU, the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich and the regional university networks in Africa, RUFORUM and ANAFE. But the partnership extends much more widely and includes civil society organizations, the private sector and government agencies. The emphasis is on strengthening the capacity of intermediaries to respond more effectively to the demand from farmers for knowledge on how to improve their farming systems. // An initial scoping study carried out in East Africa in 2012 revealed that there is considerable interest among different types of organization to participate in the development of OERs and to receive training in their effective use. Another clear message was the importance of addressing the needs of women and young people, and to help them overcome barriers to success. A particular challenge for FARM-ED is to reflect the wide diversity of agricultural systems and socio-cultural practices within and between countries in SSA. Generic learning materials are being developed for use with different media (including print and mobile) and will be freely available online. Although generic, there will be a strong emphasis on adaptation of the learning materials for the local context and, through working with communities of practice, improving them in line with feedback from users. // FARM-ED also aims to help to create a more favourable enabling environment for the implementation of best practice in priority areas such as adaptation to climate change, nutrition and rural entrepreneurship. It will do this through the development of special courses for policy makers and by engagement with national policy processes. // Paper ID: 184
- ItemOpen AccessFostering Community Preparedness to Cope with Drought: new initiatives and results from a study involving ODL and ICT from South Central India(2010-11) Kiran, Neelam L; Naresh, Kumar V R; Sreedhar, Ganapuram; Sylvester, Asil G; Balaji, VenkataramanDrought has emerged as a key concern in the context of climate variability induced by Climate Change processes and over a billion people are vulnerable, according to UN estimates. Drought preparedness is recognized as the preferred way to cope over relief, and information is the key. Improved access to contemporary ICT in the form of mobile phones and the Internet can help address the challenge of information deficiency in this matter. We have tried to develop an integrated approach for improving the capacity of rural communities by bringing together agricultural information with methods of ODL and effective exchange or delivery using videoconferencing. This has also enabled skill building among vulnerable rural communities in the use of color-coded maps derived from satellite imagery and GIS platforms. ICRISAT in partnership with a community based all- women micro-credit organization, the Adarsha Mahila Samaikhya (AMS), in South Central India has developed this blend of techniques to help the AMS and rural communities to anticipate how vulnerable their villages would be to drought in a season. This is an ongoing partnership, and we report here on joint studies carried out during March 2008-September 2009.
- ItemOpen AccessGlobal Agricultural Knowledge Initiative: Strengthening the Global Competence of Students, Faculty and Extension Agents(2010-11) Holz-Clause, Mary; Dileepkumar, GuntukuEducation and Training traditionally involve learning from teachers and other pedagogical standards. The role of the teacher is to impart knowledge to those who do not possess them. Teachers talk in front of the class, and the pupils have to listen and write down what the “knowing” teacher says. This top-down method is not only used in the formal education system, also training staff uses this method to train the people. Even though this way of teaching and learning is part of our culture, the changing scenarios and expectation of today’s learners demand that teachers adapt new ways to update their skills and knowledge for making information and knowledge available to farmers. // Advent of Internet and advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and specifically in Multimedia, Networking, and Software Engineering have promoted the enormous amount of learning resources and Learning Management Systems (LMSs). During the last years, thousands of electronic texts, images, movies, or Java applet based learning resources have been developed for learning purposes in Internet environments. To take advantage of this situation, new services were developed for creating synchronous (Chat, Flash meetings, Breeze meeting, Teleconferencing and Video Conferencing to name a few) and asynchronous (Internet education portals, web based learning management systems, Forums, and wiki’s to name a few) learning environments. With the help of these contemporary Information and Communication Technology based services, the search, classification, organization, and peer-to-peer exchange of learning resources by learners, instructors, and course developers are becoming commonplace. However most of these technologies and virtual knowledge networks are part of corporate knowledge management. Academia has yet to recognize and fully explore the significance of systematic network development tools for agricultural education purposes. A dynamic computer-based model of knowledge management can now be applied to agricultural research done at any university anywhere on the globe and this research can be exchanged in a matter of seconds among faculty scientists, private industry, and students.
- ItemOpen AccessImparting skill development training to the Lakadong turmeric farmers of the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya(2010-11) Roy, Debjani; Kurup, JayashreeThe present paper is the report on the Lakadong variety of turmeric which has the highest curcumin content in the world (7.4%) is native to the Lakadong area of the Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya ( Lat 25° 10' 60N ; Long 92° 16' 60E; Alt 610 m).
- ItemOpen AccessImproving Access to Postgraduate Training in Crop Protection for Agricultural Practitioners Through Distance Learning at the University of Nairobi, Kenya(2016-11) Muthomi, J W; Mwang’ombe, A W; Olubayo, F MThe Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection of the University of Nairobi launched the first postgraduate training by distance learning in 2010. Development of the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode of delivery was based on client-driven demand for a flexible mode of learning by agriculture graduates who had specialized in Crop Protection at final year at undergraduate and holding management positions in horticulture industry. This demand was necessitated by the requirement by public and private sector employers that professionals at management positions should have advanced training and skills in order to satisfy the increasingly competitive job market. However, the employers are unable to grant study leave for workers to pursue postgraduate training. Therefore, the ODL mode of delivery was developed to open up opportunities in postgraduate training in Master of Science in Crop Protection. The ODL programme was initiated in 2008, starting with review of curriculum to accommodate open and distance learning mode. Academic and technical staff were sensitized on the need for ODeL mode of postgraduate training. Many feared that it would not be possible to deliver a science-based programme by distance learning due to the practical component involved. The new training approach focused on distance learning based on provision of hard copy manuals because many of the potential students worked in the agriculture sector and most stations were located in rural areas without stable cell phone and internet connectivity. The first ODL intake was launched in October 2010 with a class of 13 students. Every year the programme admits over 15 students and at the beginning of each academic year, the new students are inducted in to the ODL mode of training. The main medium of instruction is the print in the form of self-instructional modules. These serve in the place of the teachers as they contain the subject content and instructional devices to guide learners. To support the printed modules, academic support services are provided by face to face tuition sessions held during the semester. The face to face on campus sessions are dedicated practicals, tutorial sessions, continuous assessments, presentation of term papers and consultation with supervisors on thesis research. Through the ODL mode of delivery class sizes have increased from five to about 20 students per intake every year. The approach has maximized the use of limited physical and human resources and significantly reduced the unit cost of postgraduate training. The new frontier is to convert the programmes to full e-delivery since internet connectivity has improved in many parts of the country. // Paper ID 405
- ItemOpen AccessKnowing and Growing Network of Organic Women Farmers in the Caribbean: Digital media for learning, networking and farm management(2010-11) Tandon, NidhiWith no explanation for climate change or the abrupt shifts in weather, farmers may think this is ‘God’s work’ - and beyond the control of mere mortals. By extension, farmers might not consider themselves actors of consequence whose actions could have direct impacts for climate change and for our collective futures on this planet. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth! // We have been working with farmers in the Caribbean region since 2004, developing an e-network support system of organic women farmers – first teaching them about the holistic benefits of organic farming (food and health, management of climate change, biodiversity, local production) but also teaching them technical aspects to using the Internet more broadly and social networking tools more specifically over time. In 2010, six workshops later, the network is at least 180 people strong – primarily but not exclusively, women farmers. What began as a network of farmers seeking to become organic has now extended to farmers concerned about a healthy and resilient food economy in the context of climate change and environmental stress. // A review of current research and documentation shows that there are few comprehensive materials that look at women’s use of and access to ICTs in the context of farming and climate change. Our research indicates that despite the lack of dependable data on the impact of climate change on agriculture, the issue is gaining more attention as climate issues attract more urgency. At the same time, it is clear that the treatment of climate change and agriculture needs to be localized in order for it to be of any value to farmers and policy makers alike. // We will present our work, the challenges, and the particular gender dimensions of working with media and technology tools in a rural and multi-island setting – in a participatory workshop session.
- ItemOpen AccessKnowledge and Skill Development using Mobile Technology for Reducing Risks among Farmers(2013-11) Anabel, Nancy J; Malarvannan, S; Karuppaiah, JeganIndian resource poor farmers face several challenges such as lack of information on soil fertility, availability of quality seeds and other inputs, dependable weather forecast linked advisories, suitable crop varieties, its management, post harvest technologies, market information, access to credits, storage facilities and management of livestock. They also lack necessary skills and essential linkages with financial, market and scientific institutions. MSSRF bridges the gap by using various modern Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), using its Village Resource and Knowledge Centre network. The VRC-VKCs disseminate locale specific and demanded information to the farmers of Tamilnadu, Pudhucherry, Maharashtra and Odisha for the past 15 years for the knowledge empowerment and sustainable development. // MSSRF connects the farming community with technical institutions such as agricultural universities, KVKs, Research institutions and individual experts to provide science based quality and timely information and conducts training and awareness programmes of topical interest to the farmers. // MSSRF forms grassroots level institutions of farmers and capacitate them for accessing technologies, government approved farm credits and market. MSSRF’s programmes such as farm schools, plant clinic, soil and water testing laboratory, phone helpline, advisories through voice and text SMS, phone in programmes, satellite and internet based video interactions to link the farmers with the farm scientists. In order to promote ‘learning by doing’, MSSRF organizes visits of farmers to the progressive farmer’s fields. // MSSRF delivers information to 100,000 farmers across 1119 villages in 4 states. MSSRF interventions have brought out notable desired changes in the farming practices, increased farm productivity and net incomes, improved Farm health and reduced expenses on inputs to our focus farmers. For example, the farmers linked with Thiruvaiyaru VRC were provided with the real time information for their produce such as paddy, banana etc. and helped the farmers to get an approximate 20-25% additional income. // Paper ID: 430
- ItemOpen AccessThe Life Long Learning of Farmers (L3F) Through Mobile Phones: Pedagogy for the Commons(2016-11) Thamizoli, P; Kamaraj, KHierarchy and disparity in India are deeply embedded and reflects in the daily life of the people. The result is the lower your position the less you were entitled to own, to participate, to move around etc. Mobile phone undermines these strictures, which is increasingly becoming ubiquitous, plugging a large mass, in to a system of interactive communication. Mobile can be used as an effective learning tool but it depends on the knowledge, skill and the resources of the person using it. Life long learning of farmers (L3F) programme started seven years back in Theni district, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, supported by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and implemented by a network of Civil society organizations and Farmers producer companies. The programme has been effectively using mobile as a tool to address the women and men farmers learning needs i.e to provide lessons for the better management of the enterprises they set up with the loans received from the commercial banks. It converted everyone as a self directed learner. The L3F learners are small and marginal, illiterate, semiliterate women and men farmers. The paper discusses the processes, outcomes and impact of L3F. The study conducted in 2013 by National Institute of Bank Management, Pune, shows the Benefits/Costs ratio, for each one rupee spent nearly ten times more were returned as benefits. Similarly another study conducted by Business School, New England University, Australia in 2016, reveals the ‘profit efficiency’ achieved in programme is higher in the case of L3F farmers. The paper will also discuss the future directions of the programme including the possibility to promote L3F as a business model for banks and other stakeholders. // Paper ID 339
- ItemOpen AccessLifelong Learning for Livelihood Promotion: A Rural Experiment in the Madurai District of Tamil Nadu(2010-11) Amirtham, Thomas; Joseph, John; Kannan, M; Vivek, A; Solairajan, MAgriculture is the primary sector for the Indian economy. It is economically and socially vital for India as it contributes 23 per cent to GDP, feeds a billion people and employs 66 per cent of the workforce. However the status of the vast majority of the farming communities is filled with misery. Illiteracy, socio-economic backwardness, vagaries of monsoon, increasing input costs, lack of timely credit and unfavorable market conditions has deprived them of their livelihood securities. Added to it, arable land is shrinking as urban expansion, Special Economic Zones (SEZ), corporatization of agriculture has gobbled up thousands of acres of farmland and has eroded the livelihood resources of the poor farmers. This unfavorable trend and livelihood threats needs to be halted and efforts must be made to expand farmer’s access to livelihood resources. By enabling farmers to have increased access to resources (physical, natural, human, social and financial) the present situation can be remedied. As Chakraborty, et al., (2009) argued, people should be made responsible for their own development in this process. Sustainable livelihood approach envisaged that people should not merely participate, but be in charge of their own development. Life Long Learning attempts to provide this expanded access to livelihood resources by adopting this livelihood approach.
- ItemOpen AccessMedia support for farming and alternate livelihoods: A Comparative Study of ETV vs other TV channels in the State of Andhra Pradesh(2010-11) Murthy, C S H NThe present study therefore is an effort to examine: i. how far the existing electronic media (in the private and the government sectors) are transmitting the agricultural programs enabling the farmers to make informed decisions in their professional practices at low costs with reasonable returns. ii. how far the coverage is addressing all the major areas of burning issues of farmers and farming strategies and techniques, and iii. to examine whether the existing programs are sufficient or need to be further broadened to offer more inputs for the benefit of the farmers.
- ItemOpen AccessMeta-Profiles to Enhance Competence Based Training, Case-Study of the Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences (FASA) Dschang Cameroon(2019-09) Tankou, ChristopherNowadays universities are faced with the challenge of implementing continuous change and improvement of courses to develop a better educational offer for students. A core issue concerns the learner having a central position within the process. Expected learning outcomes concern knowledge as well as skills of both subject specific and generic competencies to equip the graduate for the job market. This paper focuses on the Tuning Africa methodology which is a student-centered approach to improve higher education institutions in Africa and worldwide. It aims at providing an overview on the development of meta-profile in the domain of Agriculture through the combination of appropriate competencies. The meta-profile is a useful tool for improving student-centered education. The empirical data for the development of the meta-profile were drawn from a qualitative questionnaire with open questions filled-in by the different stakeholders: students, lecturers, graduates and employers. The first degree program currently used in the Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, Dschang, Cameroon (hereafter referred to as our local institution) has some similarities and differences in the subject specific and generic competencies respectively, with respect to the meta-profile proposed by the Agricultural team of Tuning Africa in design and content. The results of this study describe areas to rethink and restructure in the teaching and learning for a more efficient professional development of our local institution and other institutions of Higher Education in the continent taking into consideration the specificity of the systems approach. The findings have the potential to reshape undergraduate education in our local institution to facilitate transferability of degrees and facilitate international mobility of students as proposed by the Agriculture subject area of the Tuning Africa team. //Paper ID 21
- ItemOpen AccessMobiMOOC – A Practical Learning Tool to Promote Corporate Literacy for Effective Functioning of Farmer Producer Organizations(2022-09) Raj, Rengalakshmi; Perumal, Thamizoli; Balaji, VenkataramanPCF10 Sub-theme: Fostering Lifelong Learning // Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood to more than 70% of rural households in India. Of the total farmers, 87% are small-holders with less than two hectares of land. Yet they play an imperative role in agriculture development and poverty reduction. They face constraints to adopt technologies, access credit services, buy inputs, get market links and achieve economies of scale. As a mitigation measure, in the recent past, Indian government has adopted the development of the Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) to collectivize farmers with the core objectives of doubling farmers income by reducing production costs, improving productivity, strengthening participation in the value-chain and foster business principles. As on date 10,000 FPOs are formed in India with an average 700 to 1000 shareholders and registered under the company’s act. However, there have been gaps and challenges in securing the active participation of the shareholders in contributing to the business. The recent impact study conducted in the state of Maharashtra pointed out that FPOs resulted in rising in price realization among 22% of members and 28% accessed inputs at a lesser cost. Although results are encouraging, promoting the participation of all members in business transactions is crucial to the growth of the company. The main barriers are limited understanding among shareholders about their roles, responsibilities, rights, operational structure, and governance of the organization. Members perceive the FPO as one more collective and thus they miss connecting the corporate dimension in their organization. Thus, promoting continuous learning among shareholders and leaders about the above-listed issues is necessary for their active participation in the company activities and achieving a successful business. // Against this backdrop, a corporate literacy course was designed and piloted using the MobiMOOC digital tool with 24 FPOs from five districts, having an average shareholder base of 1035, in Tamil Nadu, India. Contents are prepared based on the learner's needs assessment conducted and categorized into blocks, divided into units and chunks. The contents were disseminated to farmers as voice calls on simple mobile phones with options of retrieving (IVRS) and listening when convenient to individual farmers. In this paper we will discuss the experiences of pedagogy adopted, design and dissemination of contents, feedback of learners on how it supported in gaining and knowledge on FPOs, and how they practiced the learning in their FPOs businesses and its impacts. The paper will also touch upon the scope for replication of the learnings. // Paper ID 2639
- ItemOpen AccessMOOC on Integrated Pest Management (IPM): A New Online Venture in Agricultural Education System(2016-11) Prabhuraj, Aralimarad; Patil, B V; Bheemanna, M; Prabhakar, T V; Singh, NeetaThe landscape of agriculture is changing rapidly due to include agribusiness in supplychain operations and management. As a result, there is an absolute necessity to empower farmers, women and youth in terms of livelihood and entrepreneurship skills. Innovations in ICT which are playing an important role in bridging the gap could be successfully employed for this purpose. Looking into its importance National Academy of Agricultural Science (NAAS), New Delhi has brought out a policy paper on ‘MOOC for capacity building in Indian agriculture: Opportunities and challenges’ in January 2015. The policy paper emphasises the strength and potential of MOOC in reaching out larger section of the students/faculty/extension personnel in delivering the goods. Encouraged by the policy decision, MOOCs in some of the agricultural subjects were designed and offered in collaboration with NPTEL and IITK of which, IPM was one among them. // Paper ID 470
- ItemOpen AccessODL Interventions for Skill Development in Agriculture(2010-11) Salooja, M KIndian agriculture is at crossroads and is one of the concern areas for the policy makers. The human resource base for the agriculture sector is weak and is one of the neglected components of the sector. The programmes and initiatives being initiated, under the recently launched National Skill Development Mission, can provide an interface for development of human resource for the agriculture sector. The ODL can play a proactive role in human resource development for agriculture sector and successful implementation of the Skill Development Mission through interventions like: development of competency based curricula and multi-media training modules, designing and implementing the testing and certification mechanism and development of qualification framework. It can also facilitate in creating a value added ICT enabled system. Implementation of skill development mission in area of agriculture through ODL shall ensure wider participation in equity mode. The paper analyses the present agriculture scenario, status of vocational education and skill development in the area of agriculture, potential of Open and Distance learning (ODL) in skill development skill development and issues involved in development and planning of Qualification Framework. It is envisaged that efforts in building the human resource, through a structured and certifiable system shall bring in significant change in the growth of the sector.