Life Long Learning (L3) for Farmers: A Pilot Project in Sri Lanka

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Coomaraswamy, Uma
Hirimburegama, Kshanika
Alluri, Krishna
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF5 Sub-theme: Livelihoods // Over 75% of the population of Sri Lanka lives in the rural sector. More than 70% of rural women are involved in subsistence agriculture and production but lack access to information and are relatively weak in economic empowerment. Several decades of public investment in agriculture, irrigation and community development have not achieved lasting success in rural development. New strategic initiatives are needed to harness engines of pro-poor growth to enhance livelihoods, increased incomes, address gender issues and ensure access to essential services among the poor. // The vision of Lifelong Learning (L3) for Farmers in Sri Lanka is to evolve a self-generating, self-sustaining and self-replicating livelihood improvement programme among rural communities using technology mediated open and distance learning. This concept envisages a global and local partnership between knowledge institutions, ICT centres and rural communities and a win-win situation for all stakeholders. The L3 Programme was launched in Sri Lanka in April 2007 and pilot phase is taking place in three villages. // It is a tri-partite model with mobilized rural community in the centre for facilitating participation and as a base for knowledge management in the community. // The rural community is linked to: // a) location-specific institutional base through partnership with knowledge institutions with expertise in disciplines related to agriculture in a consortium approach. // b) rural ICT centres with appropriate technology to facilitate self-directed learning which is financially viable, economically feasible and socially acceptable. // c) banks for loans to farmers. // The L3 project is complementing the ‘Gama Neguma’ (village upliftment programme) of the Government of SriLanka thus deriving national support. // Presentation will share the experience thus-far gained in the three pilot villages. // Paper ID 108
Sri Lanka