Life Long Learning for Farmers in Uganda
Lifelong learning for farmers in Uganda is an initiative by COL in partnership with communities’ organizations to make effective use of ICTs to facilitate learning for development in South Western Uganda. Lifelong Learning for Farmers aims at transforming rural livelihoods in South Western Uganda through innovative ICT solutions along various product value chains.L3F was introduced as a pilot project in four villages in southern India in 2004. The success of this initiative led to the launch of Lifelong Learning for Farmers in Uganda in September 2009. The major aim of this initiative is to link producers, transporters, financial institutions and traders using innovative ICT tools to effectively work together to alleviate poverty. The program works with various innovation platforms that include the Bufundi Potato IP, Bubare Sorghum IP, Batwa Honey Value Chain and small scale potato traders in Kampala. ICT links all these different actors and also provides other useful information such as best practices in the production of potatoes, sorghum and honey for the Batwa through mobile base learning. ICT facilitates the transfer of information from scientific and research institutions to rural farmers through tools like SMS, ,Short audio message, ODL Materials in local dialects and agriculture related radio programs on local FM stations like Voice of Kigezi in Kable.
L3F Uganda is facilitating the process of establishing and managing Self-Help groups in rural villages with the aim of integrating them to form a farmers’ Community banks in the near future when the farmers have fully gasped the concept and accumulated enough savings. This will help to break the barrier of low or no access to credit form formal banking institutions due to the stringent requirements the farmerscannot meet and the high risk of agricultural lending.