Wednesday, 23 March 2011

CTA's second wave of Web 2.0 Training Events

CTA has launched a second wave of training events to strengthen the use of Web 2.0 technologies. In 2010 certain countrries were targeted for action and over 300 participants were trained in Benin, Ghana, Kenya, and southern Nigeria.
In 2011, the effort will proceed to the Caribbean and the Pacific with more countries brought in all over Africa. The African effort will be extended to Ethiopia, The Gambia, northern Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In the Caribbean, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago will be reached, while Fiji will be reached in the Pacific.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Friday, 8 May 2009

PAEM Sierra Leone - Preparations On

Notes to Host Partners:
In terms of pre-course arrangements, SLARI would need to do the following:
1. Make contacts with one or two farming communities near Freetown with whom we will do PRAs and for whom the participants will produce extension materials as a practical exercise. Usually we involve the local extension service agents so that they can make contacts and maintain follow-up even after the course.
2. Identify one or two graphic artists that will work with the participants groups to do illustrations that might be needed for the materials to be produced on the course.
3. Identify a technician that will assist with desk top publishing software such as MS Publisher or Adobe PageMaker. From the profiles of the participants we have, there is no internal capacity in the groups to do this. Some of the Liberian candidates do not even know how to use MS Word.
4. Secure five desk top computers to be rented for the period. These will be used by each of the groups for producing their materials. A good colour printer should be part of this arrangement.
5. Secure Internet access at the training venue as the Internet is a good channel through which participants can reach sources of information as inputs to the development of their extension materials. If available, agricultural resources in forms of books, brochures, manuals etc. from SLARI library would also be used as needed.
6. Secure the use of a photocopier at the venue.

The Course Director will contact you to make specific requests regarding materials to get in place for the period

Monday, 27 April 2009

The Fiji PAEM Course - A Reflection

It is all over, after two intensive weeks the CTA course on the Production of Agricultural Extension Materials has ended. The certificates displayed tell part of the story. From the responses to the final course evaluation questionnaire by the participants, it is obvious that a lot had been gained especially in terms of the attitude to the production of extension materials. For all the participants, the end of the course signifies the beginning of the challenge - the challenge to make a positive difference to the state of agricultural information in the region.

The CTA approach adopts a participatory philosophy, recognising that farmers have a crucial role to play in identifying the specific agricultural information materials that they need. In general industry terms, this is a marketing approach as opposed to the sales approach where information materials are produced without consultatation with target clients by the agricultural ministries and supplied to the farmers who may or may not find the materials pertinent to their needs. When farmers do not find materials relevant to their information needs, they find other uses (eg. wrapping food) for the materials, discard them or simply ignore them.

Participants on the course particularly appreciated the consultation process with the farmers - the initial introduction by the local extension agents, the PRA discussions on their needs and priorities and the insightful critiquing of the draft products by the farmers at the testing and validation stage.

Some participants had suggested having more practice with computers but the fact is that this was not a computer course, the essential thing is to understand that a team with various skills is needed to produce the final material but the two most critical issues are to identify the real materials needed and then to develop the appropriate content. All other activities support these two issues. Back in the home stations, participants must identify the relevant team members so that their action plans can be achieved.

At the closing ceremony, participants presented their institutional action plans. All plans highlighted the strong need to produce agricultural extensional materials on return and participants feel sufficiently confident to take on the task. SPC will coordinate the action plans so that we can act as a group to see what new extension materials will be produced directly as result of this course.

Here are some of the general comments by participants.

  • There should be a follow-up on this after two years to see the results and also further training on the role of media should be provided to this group. Also, importance of ICT cannot be overlooked.

  • The course was interesting and challenging and all participants learned a lot.

  • Has been very informative, came to be aware of the different set up of information institution across the region. The sharing of information of the African region was interesting too.

  • I learn a lot and Ihope when Igo back Iwill be using my skills that I have learnt from CTA

  • The duration of the course was short. It should be more than 3 - 4 weeks. Overall observation - the course coordinator was well perfect. You are very perfect to the point of your presentation. It is a more informal which is interesting in the Pacific way. Thank you CTA and SPC for your support and contribution. I really learnt a lot.

  • Training was an eye opener for me because dealing with technical people the information I get to send out is now I realize a bit too technical.

  • The course was a long overdue one whereby a one stop shop kind of issues could be addressed. It has really captured weaknesses and strengths both within and outside my area of operation for effective service delivery.

  • I had privilege to attend this training and also my first time attending such a very technical training

  • Working more on brochures.

  • Friday, 24 April 2009

    The Final Products

    Finally the workshop products have been produced after the testing and validation exercise.

    Wednesday, 22 April 2009

    South Sea Orchids - Empowering Rural for Higher Productivity in Floriculture

    Training in Heliconias and Ginger
    South Sea Orchids commenced a one-day training workshop on heliconias and ginger for rural communities in the Nadi area. The training workshop is organised by Mrs Aileen Burness of SSO and her team and supported by Secretariat of the Pacific Community and ?????????????? SSO has been a recipient of technical and financial support from CTA.
    I stopped by in the morning at South Sea Orchids to observe the registration and the commencement of the morning session before going off to the validation visit with the Vavinaqiri community.