TRAINING IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION TRADE

As part of the “Train 25 farmers to become village extension workers” project funded by the PAFTP, Dahari, in partnership with Maeecha, organised a nine-month programme to train participants to work as representatives in rural development projects in Comoros.

The training programme was made up of four modules: functional literacy, facilitation, farm management, and introduction to the principles of agriculture.

In terms of participation, 22 extension workers were trained, including 16 from Dahari and six from Maeecha. This training programme has been extremely beneficial since 16 of the participants have been offered employment through Dahari agricultural projects, providing them a secure job for the long term.

FUNCTIONAL LITERACY AND IMPROVING READING LEVEL

This training programme was run by Maeecha, unlike the other sessions which were provided by Dahari staff. For the literacy module, participants were divided into three groups depending on their level of literacy. This allowed us to improve instruction for the students and to offer personalized support. In total, 98 training sessions were provided totalling 490 hours. The average total attendance was 87% which shows the involvement of the participants. This module was made up of arithmetic, reading and writing sessions.

FACILITATION

This module was led by different Dahari technicians according to the theme tackled and took place in Salamani once a week from April to May 2017.

paftp 2As of this writing, 22 students have taken this module with a rate of attendance of more than 90%.

The general objective was to allow the participants to use communication and facilitation tools to gather and transmit information to various audiences.

Theoretical sessions and field applications were offered. The Dahari technicians have also been trained on different techniques so that future technician-extension worker teams share workloads and more effectively conduct practical work following the training sessions.

MANAGEMENT OF OPERATIONS

The aim of this module is to present the principles of organising an agricultural operation, in particular the identification of production objectives (selection criteria), its translation into technical itineraries (based on the conservation of soil fertility and the management of biodiversity) and finally the management of material resources, such as the recording of purchases and sales. This module will take place beginning July 2017.

INTRODUCTION TO DIFFERENT AGRICULTURAL PRINCIPLES

Taught once a week by Dahari technicians, this module took place directly on the Maeecha demonstration plot in Mrémani. Since the start of the training programme in September 2016, six Maeecha students have attended 25 training sessions with a consistently high attendance rate of 90%.

The profile of participants for this module is different since the majority of them have had access to secondary education and do not have a lot of experience in agriculture. However, they demonstrate a keen interest in developing and investing themselves in the agricultural sector.

The main goals of this session are to help the Maeecha students reach the same level of agricultural knowledge as the Dahari students and to set up an agricultural demonstration plot within the centre. The planting and construction material for cattle parks as well as agricultural work tools have been made available to Maeecha to ensure the success of the agricultural activities.

paftp 3In general, the skills for each campaign are taught in a programme split into two sessions: the first two hours with the Dahari technician who shares knowledge and the last two “free” hours where the participants are responsible for autonomously putting the skills into action on the whole of the demonstration plot.

The intermediate results of these months of training are very positive: we notice with great satisfaction that the “agricultural extension” training has produced an important change of posture in all participants. In fact, some of them are extremely proud to demonstrate their current skills and to show that they are now more able to manage daily activities. The pride of the participants, who are now more confident, is reflected in the quality of work provided in the respective villages.

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