The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) hosted a cross-learning tour to facilitate a team of Agricultural Extension Officers and Farmers from Antigua & Barbuda during the period of February 5-8, 2019.
During this knowledge sharing visit, the Caribbean neighbours gained insights into several farm operations through field tours. They recognized the close relationship between Agricultural Extension Officers and Farmers in Jamaica and the importance of technical advice given. The team also gained useful knowledge and appreciation of Jamaica’s official registration system for farmers, that is, the RADA’s Agri-Business Information System (ABIS).
The Commonwealth of Learning must be recognized and congratulated for the invaluable support given in making this cross-learning visit a reality. The RADA and COL have a longstanding partnership since 2009 in implementing the Life Long Learning for Farmers (L3F) Initiative in Jamaica.
The overall objective of this initiative is to improve the livelihood security of farmers through knowledge empowerment. This programme has increased in depth, reach and socio-economic benefits, as an estimated 5,000 farmers has since been engaged in mobile phone-based learning over the last 10 years.
RADA’s capacity has also been strengthened through this collaborative partnership and continued support from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), towards improved access to quality education and training. This has been quite evident through the adoption of modern extension advisory services and the use of ICTs to enhance production and productivity within the agricultural sector.
COL is keen on empowering people through learning that leads to economic growth, social inclusion and environmental conservation. It is important therefore, to note that COL now views RADA as a resource agency for new COL partners within the Region, such as the team that visited from Antigua & Barbuda.