“Very few NGOs are working on farmers education,” according to Moussa Faye of Action Aid Senegal. But without basic education—including literacy skills—it’s hard for many farmers or farmers groups to raise crop yields, increase income, or improve food security. But “literacy work is a trigger for the development process,” says Faye, especially for women, giving them the opportunity to gain access to land, seeds, and markets.
Farmers need the tools to be able to read and understand budgets, ask questions, and follow up on what they need. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)
In addition to basic literacy, Action Aid is working with farmers to build economic literacy. They’re training people at the local level to learn how to develop and “control” budgets for their associations and businesses. Farmers need the tools to be able to read and understand budgets, ask questions, and follow up on what they need.
Action Aid is also helping farmers gain access to life-long training, helping develop their knowledge, but also their capacity to expand their farms or add value to their crops. These initiatives also give youth entrepreneurial skills to help “give them real prospects” to stay on the farm.
To read the first and second posts in this series about Action Aid see: Getting the Most Out of Groundnuts in Senegal, and Giving Family Farmers a Bigger Voice and a Bigger Impact.
For other posts about initiatives involving youth and providing opportunities to stay in rural communities see: School Feeding Programs Improve Livelihoods, Diets, and Local Economies, Providing Scholarships to Improve Gender Equity and Alleviate Hunger and Poverty, Using Digital Technology to Empower and Connect Young Farmers, Acting It Out for Advocacy, and How to Keep Kids Down on the Farm.