From Subsistence Living to Sustainable Farming
For generations, farmers in developing nations like the Philippines have tilled the land and eked out a living. With little formal education and even less knowledge about business management, these farmers toil hard, sell their crops, and barely make enough to feed their families. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Bayer Crop Sciences, a leading agricultural company, sought to change this.
Comprehensive Learning Solutions worked with IFC and Bayer Crop Sciences Philippines to improve smallholder farmers’ creditworthiness and access to finance by educating them on the basics of accounting and finance. We also strengthened the training delivery skills of extension agents so they could communicate more effectively with farmers.
Working with this audience required rethinking many of the assumptions that training professionals make: The target audience was located throughout the Philippines, spoke various languages, had limited access to computers or the internet, and limited time or interest for attending training or managing their finances.
Comprehensive Learning Solutions developed a flexible, manageable, practical training strategy and a set of courses. With its emphasis on cross-cultural communications, adult learning principles, and customer-focus, Comprehensive Learning Solutions provided training that the core trainers found easy to understand and teach to others.
Since 2014, more than 40,000 farmers in 40 provinces across the Philippines have learned how to manage their money better through this program. Farmers who successfully completed the program cite increased harvests, more savings, acquisition of more land and equipment, and the establishment of successful side businesses as some of the positive impacts that the program has had on their lives.
Click here to learn more about the effectiveness of this program on IFC’s feature page.
Bayer Crop Sciences now is replicating the program to benefit farmers across Asia and Africa. At the start of that expansion, Bayer Crop Sciences requested that Comprehensive Learning Solutions train the South Asian project leads and customize the training materials for delivery to rice and coffee farmers in Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.