Agriculture for Sustainable Livelihood through DE
Agricultural Engineering OUSL
Last modified: October 13, 2006
Presentation date: 11/02/2006 11:45 AM in NT Portland B
The Open University with the assistance of Operation Days Work of Norway has launched in 2005, a certificate programme on Agriculture for Sustainable Livelihood. This is a follow up programme of the Rural Communication Project that was completed in 2004, undertaken by the Rural Research Unit (RRU) of OUSL and COL, which identified technologies that are of immediate relevance to the rural poor. The ability of the rural people to adapt technologies to suit their needs was demonstrated.
RRU decided to embark on a programme for the rural youth using a combination of distance learning methods and learning by doing. Norwegian Operation Day’s Work approved the concept of taking technology to underserved distant regions to empower youth to seek livelihoods in their own situation instead of migrating to the urban areas .
The Open University began the programme, operating five rural study centres in remote locations catering to 90 students, supported by five animators. The programme is conducted in Sinhala and Tamil using printed material supported by work done using local resources. The main activities chosen by the students address rural food needs and value addition to agricultural produce. On completion of the students’ projects , in March 2006, the students will be awarded a certificate in Agriculture for Sustainable Livelihood.
Plans are afoot to expand the programme to two more centres from this year. In the coming years emphasis will be paid to meeting energy needs, as it has been identified as a crucial constraint that hampers rural development.