Triggering Development with Improved Education

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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. 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.

(Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

Bernard Pollack
Bernard Pollack, an expert on local labor movements and communications, is currently traveling across the continent of Africa with his partner Danielle Nierenberg BorderJumpers.org, meeting with farmers, community organizers, labor activists/leaders, non-governmental organization (NGOs), the funding and donor communities, and others.

His travel writing from Africa has recently been featured in the Montreal Gazette, the NC News Observer, the Omaha World-Herald, and the Des Moines Register.

He holds an M.A. in Political Management from The George Washington University School of Political Management and a B.A. from the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
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