The L3Farmers Project: Report and recommendations to the Commonwealth of Learning on Open and Distance Lifelong Learning for Smallholder Farmers and Agricultural Communities

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2004
Authors
Latchem, Colin
Maru, Ajit
Alluri, Krishna
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Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver
Abstract

The following report is based upon Commonwealth of Learning (COL) initiated online discussions, meetings at the second Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning in Durban, South Africa, and research by the authors into open and distance learning (ODL) and information and communication technology (ICT) for agricultural development in low-income countries. It recommends a collaborative L3Farmers Project by the National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems (NARES), Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and COL. The report evidences a massive need to improve smallholders’ knowledge and skills in the food production market chain in low-income countries. Such is the nature, scale and extent of this need that it cannot be met by conventional extension alone, but it can be met by employing ICT, ODL and innovatory extension methods.

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Agriculture
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