Somaliland: USAID Literacy/numeracy skills Training Program Boosts Farmers Confidence

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Success Story oUSAIDf the USAID-funded Partnership for Economic Growth-Agriculture Sub Activity

Somalilandsun – Courtesy of the USAID-funded Partnership for Economic Growth 75 Farmers from Amoud, Ruqi and Baki in Awdal region west Somaliland have gained literacy/numeracy skills After 40 days of tuition which lays the foundation for the business extension, marketing and record-keeping training that they will partake in during the up- coming growing and harvest seasons.

The rural farming communities in Somaliland’s western Awdal region have been engaged in subsistence farming for many decades. Most of the farmers are illiterate and rely on the traditional way of farming and selling their produce. The USAID-funded Partnership for Economic Growth in partnership with Amoud University and the Somali Agricultural Technical Group (SATG) has been working with the local communities to increase production and farmers’ incomes by establishing irrigated demonstration plots to select the best performing vegetable crop varieties

To prepare for the upcoming agribusiness extension supAbdillahi a Borama Farmer writes his name for the first time everport, selected farmers, traders and vendors in the horticulture sector participated in an intense literacy and numeracy training which was developed for 75 community members who had never been in a classroom before and could not even write their names at the start of the activity.

The intensive numeracy and literacy training was conducted for 40 days for 75 of the least literate and least numerate farmers, traders and vendors in the three selected farming communities of Amoud, Ruqi and Baki in western Somaliland.

After daily two hour lessons for nearly a month and a half, the farmers could do simple arithmetic and basic writing. This training lays the foundations for the business extension, marketing and record-keeping training that they will partake in during the up- coming growing and harvest seasons.

By the end of the activity, the farmers could also send mobile phone SMS messages to local vendors stating the date and amount of produce sent. The simple record keeping skills that the farmers gained gave them the confidence to demand payments if payments were delayed. Marian Muhumed stated that a new dawn had risen for her and she now feels enlighten that she can use her telephone to access a number and call a vendor as opposed to asking for someone to help her retrieve a telephone number from her handset.

Both trainees and trainers regard the literacy and numeracy training as a first step towards independence, proper record keeping and confidence in ensuring that the farmers are getting their dues.

The trainers were very impressed by the progress maBorama farmerde by the farmers who were mostly first time students.

The literacy/numeracy skills and subsequent business extension, marketing and record-keeping training are a component of the USAID-funded Partnership for Economic Growth agriculture sub-activity which has the improvement of vegetable production in Awdal region as its main objective.

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