Thursday, 5 June 2008

Improving opportunities for African small scale farmers through e-learning for basic skills, agricultural education and market information

The Ugandan "Busoga Farmer Network" (Bufanet), the Swiss e-learning developer Avallain and the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) have teamed up to jointly develop "MarketInfonet", an internet-based and mobile phone driven market communication and e-learning system for small scale farmers and fishermen covering three areas: agricultural education, market information and basic skills training.

The provision of information and learning material for market and agricultural skills contributes to closing the knowledge gap – and unlocks human potential: "Access to information is prerequisite for small scale farmers and fishermen to adapt new agricultural techniques, improve their business and achieve good prices", Mr. Kiirya emphasizes. "The ability to read, write and calculate is prerequisite to make full use of information."Hence, MarketInfonet will address basic skills.

The user friendly edited information in English and local languages will be amended with interactive exercises for literacy and numeracy: Comparing prices, calculating the amount of fertilizer, writing an order, reading a manual –MarketInfonet will present basic skills learning as a key to improved business. Business becomes the driver for education.

Reference: Avallain Press Release May, 29