Education Knowledge

October 2002

Compendium of experiences of Italian NGOs in basic education for rural people

by Marina Emiliani
in collaboration with Lavinia Gasperini
Extension, Education and Communication Service
FAO Research, Extension and Training Division

Part 3 of 3

1 2 3

TITLE "Health Education and Food Security in El Salvador"
COUNTRY: El Salvador, (Central America)
FOCUS: Health and HIV
NGO: AALMA - Associazione America Latina, Messico, Asia

Via Dell'Abate, 12 (C.P. 287) - 42100 REGGIO EMILIA Tel. 0522/287433 (0522/431819 fax)

The project was initiated in collaboration with the NGO "FUPROBESA", our local partner in San Salvador. Its aim is to improve health and food security in Salvador.

In Salvador the health and hygiene conditions of children are appalling, Typhus, cholera, hepatitis and gastroenteritis are frequent illnesses, while malnutrition and hunger are serious problems.

The project addresses 40-50 children from the poorest districts, such as Santa Tecla and Santiago de Maria, and involves more than 150 families from these districts.

The aim of the project is to improve the population's living conditions by targeting specific objectives:

The main activities of the project are:

These courses provide health and hygiene awareness, and assist in improving the population's economic and social conditions.

TITLE "Rural Women's Literacy in Africa"
COUNTRY: Democratic Republic of Congo, (Africa)
FOCUS: Integrated
NGO: OPAM - Opera di Promozione dell'Alfabetizzazione nel Mondo

Via Pietro Cossa, 41 - 00193 ROMA - Tel. 06/3203317 - 3203318 - 3203320 (06/3203261 fax)
E-mail: Home page:
LOCAL PARTNER: Father Metond Katunasa, "Galibwa Catholic Women's Association".

O.P.A.M. firmly believes and constantly repeats that "If we train a mother, a child will be healthier". To train a woman is to train a family and nowadays, women are not only considered the heart of the family, but also members of the workforce.

All over Africa, the condition of women is desperate. Most young girls are illiterate because from an early age, they are expected to work for the family with tasks such as carrying water, gathering firewood and minding their siblings.

O.P.A.M. has launched two projects aimed at facilitating the situation of women in Africa:

Kamalondo project:

According to O.P.A.M., in the Kamalondo District, Democratic Republic of Congo, the only education system consists of private schools, which are too expensive for the majority of people. Father Metond Katunasa, helped by O.P.A.M., has created a school for 400 women with the aim of educating girls, and informing them of their role in society and in the family. The school course lasts 4 years, and consists of three years of intensive studies followed by an apprenticeship and a final evaluation. The curriculum is wide-ranging, both theoretical and practical, in order to ensure the girls receive a complete education.

The curriculum includes:
Literacy: this course teaches girls to read and write. O.P.A.M. states that many unscrupulous people use the written word to hide truth and facts from those who cannot read. Through literacy, women learn human rights and democracy practices.
Agriculture: with the aim of preventing malnutrition through correct nutrition. This course teaches how to keep a kitchen garden and promotes a variety of food and a well-balanced diet.
Family Education: this is not a specific course, but an exchange of experiences and advice for daily life.
Health Nutrition Education: this course seeks to give women basic health and medical knowledge specific to their environment, enabling them to prevent and treat illness.
Dressmaking: with the aim of giving girls a source of income, this course teaches them the art of knitting and dressmaking.

The school's aim is to help women find their roles and enables them to integrate into society.

Bulo project:

Bulo, in Uganda, is a rural village located 80 miles from Kampala. The civil war in the late 1980s, and the current HIV crisis have affected a large number of men in the village. Consequently, women have had to assume the role of the heads of the family.

In 1996, Sister Carolina Kajubi created the "Galibwa Catholic Women's Association". The aim of the Association was to give women hope and provide them with the necessary skills to lead a sustainable life. The Association is run entirely by women, and has 184 members. The majority of the staff is unpaid, only five of them are salary earners. The Association intends to promote education, productivity, development and health. The main objectives are to minimize dangers caused by HIV, to help women become literate, to encourage them to be more active and productive in society, to set up development projects and to offer employment to more women. Since the Association started, there has been a marked improvement in women's standard of living.

At present, the Association, with the contribution of O.P.A.M., is implementing a tailoring training project to give women the opportunity to attain economic independence. The project provides approximately 60 sewing machines and three hemming machines, and teaches women a variety of skills in the art of tailoring.

The project aspires to give women a broad education, which enables them to play an active role in the development of their society.

TITLE "Manobo Health, Agriculture and Literacy Project"
COUNTRY: Philippines, (Asia)
FOCUS: Literacy and Numeracy, Agriculture, Health.
LEVEL OF EDUCATION: Non Formal Education (Adult)
NGO: ADRA Italia (già OSA) - Adventist Development and Relief Agency

Lungotevere Michelangelo, 7 - 00192 ROMA - Tel. 06/3210757 (dir.) - (06/36095944 fax)
E-mail: Home page
LOCAL PARTNER: Adventist Development and Relief Agency in the Philippines and Mountain View College of Bukidnon, Mindanao

In the last two decades, overpopulation and development in the Philippines have placed considerable pressure on the culture and the environment of the tribal population of Mindanao. One of the most affected tribes is the "Manobo", natives from central Mindanao. The current situation of the tribal communities deprives them of the privileges offered to all Filipino citizens. They suffer from malnutrition and diseases resulting from poor hygiene and nutrition, and they do not speak the local language spoken in the nearby "civilized" towns. Consequently, the tribal people have expressed a desire to learn ways of improving their living conditions, to learn technologies in agriculture, to read, write and count.

The Manobo Health, Agriculture and Literacy Project started on January 1 1998 and lasted until March 31 2001. ADRA worked on this project in cooperation with the European Commission, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in the Philippines and Mountain View College of Bukidnon, Mindanao. The program aimed to determine the needs of the Manobo tribes to improve their living conditions. The project includes:

Non-Formal Education:

Twenty-two literacy centers were set-up in Bukidnon. Under the leadership of teachers, the villagers built huts and schools in each literacy center. As a reward, rice was provided for those who participated in the construction. Teachers were trained by the Department of Education, Culture and Sport, and coordinated by a literacy specialist recruited by ADRA. Every two months, teachers attended additional intensive courses to strengthen their teaching capacity in relation to the experiences encountered.

Both adults and children attended the same classes. The education program involved many activities; for example, adults and children learned how to read and write in the tribal dialect, in the main local language as well as in English. They learned how to count and recognize peso bills or coins, in order to be able to trade with the people in the city. The idea of teaching both adults and children had positive results. It was proved that children learned faster than their parents did and participated more actively in demonstrating activities.

Children also learned to sing and to play instruments, as musical abilities were developed through the initiatives of the teachers. Children were invited to put on shows to demonstrate their talent at important community programs everywhere in the Province.

Primary Health Care:

The Primary Health Care Program operated in the 22 villages and 292 mothers attended the health classes. The program aimed at improving the health status of women, children and the whole community through the dissemination of information. The relationship between hygiene and health was taught, stressing the importance of improving hygienic conditions by bathing, washing clothes and using clean water. The importance of food nutrition and cooking was underlined, as well as cleanliness in cooking areas. Training included the study of common illnesses such as cough, fever, ear-infections, wounds, and scabies; it also included preventive health care in immunization, breastfeeding and growth monitoring.

Alternative medicine (the use of herbal medication) was introduced to all centers. The villagers were taught the proper use and dosage of herbal medicine. These herbal plants grow easily in any type of soil, therefore, they are readily available, and have fewer side effects than medicines sold in pharmacies.

Agricultural Program:

The aim was to promote sustainable agriculture techniques that discourage the use of destructive pesticides and expensive fertilizers, and encourage the use of organic products, soil control and appropriate farm management techniques. The villagers were introduced to IPM (Integrated Pest Management), a technique that taught farmers to reduce the use of pesticides and turn to organic cultivation.

The project included the establishment of nurseries with different kinds of plants in each village. The acceptance of establishing nurseries demonstrated that the villagers valued the importance of ecological balance. The Department of Environmental and Natural Resources provided seedlings and technical assistance on nursery management and reforestation techniques.

Erosion destroys all the macro and microelements needed by plants for photosynthesis. This is the farmer's primary enemy affecting the quantity and quality of production. The agricultural program aimed at maintaining good production by preventing soil erosion, thus solving the problem of decreasing soil fertility.

TITLE: "Multi-Sectoral Development Project in Support of Resettled and Indigenous Populations residing in the Beles Valley and in Bordering Areas"
COUNTRY: Ethiopia, (Africa)
FOCUS: Integrated
NGO: CISP - Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli

Via Germanico, 198-00192 Roma. Tel.06/3215498 (06/3216163 fax)
E-mail: Home page
LOCAL PARTNER : Benishangul Gumuz Regional State

The program area covered three Woredas (Districts), namely Pawe, Manbuk and Mandura, in the Metekel Zone of the Benishangul and Gumz National Regional State. The program's direct beneficiaries were approximately 52098 people, whilst a further 49,000 were expected to benefit indirectly. The implementation of the multi-sector program officially started in March 1997 and ended in December 1999. The overall objective of the program was to promote long-term self-reliance and sustainable development in the project area through the strengthening of rural livelihoods. In general terms, the purpose of the program was to contribute to the socio-economic structure of the area through the development of family-run businesses and/or small-enterprise consortias (agricultural and non-agricultural), in order to reduce the precariousness of the area's productive activities and provide it with sustainable services. To achieve the general objective, the program has been operating in order to:

The program's specific objective was the consolidation and sustainability of the socio-economic and institutional systems of the Woredas of Pawe, Mandura and Manbuk. Activities were planned for the entire population residing in the three districts, including the Gumz population (the people resettled by the Ethiopian government in 1985-86), those already residing in the project area, and those who had migrated there voluntarily.

More specifically, in order to achieve it's objective, the program developed the following components:

A) Agricultural component:
To provide a sustainable supply of agricultural inputs through a revolving fund;
To provide a continuing and sustainable supply of appropriate seeds produced locally;
To increase farmers' range of usable soils in Beles Valley through the consolidation of sustainable agricultural techniques centered on the use of animal traction;
To help stabilize animal husbandry in the Beles Valley through increased forage production, establishment of veterinary services at the village level and control of main cattle diseases with particular emphasis on trypanosomiasis
To improve the diet and food security of the beneficiary populations through the consolidation of crop diversification, especially leguminous crops;
To offer further income opportunities to farmers through the promotion of irrigated vegetables, fruit and cash crop production;
To reduce post-harvest loses by farmers through the development of adequate storage facilities; To help conserve the fertility of agricultural soil and prevent erosion through the dissemination of multi-use arboreal species;
To support non-permanent agricultural activities through the enhancement and rationalization of technologies, in particular those employed by indigenous populations

B) Micro-enterprise promotion component:
To establish a revolving fund managed by local institutions at central and village levels, to foster the development of micro-entrepreneurial activities;
To improve the entrepreneurial skills and techniques of certain segments of the population (craftsmen, small merchants, cooperatives, etc.,) through training;
To foster access to financial resources for micro-entrepreneurs through revolving funds and through technical assistance in applying for loans

C) Environmental sanitation component:
To provide access to sources of drinking water for several Gumz villages in the area;
To help reduce the incidence of malaria in the area, inter alia through the support of activities by responsible local agencies

D) Institutional building component:
To improve the technical skills of the staff in the various ministries at the zone and district level through seminars;
To improve the ability of staff from various ministries to formulate appropriate interventions, by improving their analytical capacities through training courses in Participatory Rural Appraisal methods (rapid and participatory diagnosis in the rural context);
To assist the Zone Department of Education in promoting teaching programs that enhance the cultural identity of the various ethnic groups in the area;
To improve the ability of the Community Skill Training Centers in Manbuk and Mandura to provide vocational training for artisans in the Zone.

TITLE: "Rural Small and Micro Enterprises Jomoro and Nzema East Districts"
COUNTRY: Ghana, (Africa)
FOCUS: Literacy and Numeracy, Small and Micro Enterprise
NGO: COSPE - Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo dei Paesi Emergenti
Via Slataper, 10 - 50134 FIRENZE - Tel. 055/473556 (055/472806 fax)
Via F.lli Bordoni, 6 - 40133 BOLOGNA - Tel.051/3140087 (051/3140079)
E-mail: - Home page

In the Jomoro and Nzema East Districts of Ghana, the economy is mainly based on agriculture. Agriculture includes the production of cocoa, bananas, millet, coconuts, palm oil, chicken and pig breeding. Fishing, using traditional methods is also an important occupation.

The trade and production enterprises are very small and constitute 30 percent of the country's economy. Besides the production of agricultural crops, there is employment in carpentry, brickwork, tailoring, simple eating places and hairdressing.

There are approximately 11000 employed people in the areas, 70 percent of whom are women - most of whom are illiterate. Women are often left to raise their children alone with no husband and no land to cultivate. Moreover, married women are not necessarily more fortunate than single women, as husbands seldom take care of their families.

Rural, small and micro enterprises are considered important for improving the country's rural economy. However, no support is received from the government to set up and run these enterprises, there are difficulties in obtaining easy access to credit and insufficient technical information and skills in accounting and business administration.

For these reasons, COSPE set up a project aimed at improving rural, small and micro enterprises. The project includes the creation of an association for small managers, with the target of training 10 000 small managers, 7 000 of whom are women, over the next three years. The project also aims to involve institutions and governments in its activities.

The Association provides 5 000 people, 4 000 of whom are women, with legal assistance, and training in business and administration.

During the first year, it provided basic education courses in literacy and numeracy, in order to: educate people to manage their enterprises, deal with banks and suppliers, know market conditions and prices, to calculate the exact prices of crops and to control costs.

TITLE: "Salinas Grandes"
COUNTRY: Nicaragua, (Central America)
FOCUS: Integrated
NGO: MLAL - Movimento Laici America Latina

V.le A. Palladio, 16 - 37138 VERONA - Tel. 045/8102105 (045/8103181 fax)
E-mail: Home page:

The "Salinas Grandes" project operates in a rural area, in the south-east of Leon and on the Island of Venado. The project, which was approved by the European Union, commenced its activities in January 2001.

The project addresses 12 poor and socio-economically diverse communities: fishing communities from the coast, farming communities from the central region, people with no land, and people with no job opportunities. It involves a total of 1 306 inhabitants, 478 of whom are children.

The project has four primary activities: education, health, environment, and bank credit. The main effort is to undertake individual activities while linking them to others, and the key aim is to improve living conditions.

The project relies on Community Organization, which is an ideal network to link activities to people's needs. Community Organization means working to involve people in every decision and activity of the community, encouraging them to solve problems and support the democratic organization of various communities.

During the past year, MLAL has supported the definition of a political framework for the Communities: each Community elects a Directive Council; each Council contains four Work Commissions to supervise the four different activities; and each community has a Coordination Council, comprised of 12 Community leaders, who have final decision-making power. The final aim is to involve people in the community's needs and living conditions.

To-date, the results in education are the following:
The Education Commission, in cooperation with the Nicaraguan Education Ministry, created four pre-schools for children and teachers in villages.
The objectives of the schools were to create socialization and union opportunities for children up to six years old, to develop their natural abilities, and to help them better face the first year of elementary school. This learning and playing experience provides the only opportunity for community children to come together.
The Education Commission also organized five groups of literacy courses for adults, with the target of educating people who were still illiterate.
MLAL is presently helping to launch the first year of secondary schooling. This project is difficult to develop because the secondary school drop-out rate is high, and because very few young people have finished primary school. MLAL provides text and exercise books for the schools.
Health: the Health Commission works mainly in illnesses prevention. It includes training courses for families on treating local diseases, various health themes, hygiene and family planning. It assists and treats children and families suffering from malnutrition, provides funds for buying medicine, and works to build and repair sanitation.
Bank Credit: the Credit Commission has been educated in basic notions of bank credit and related procedures. The aim is to obtain bank credit for people with the development of small business project and those with financial problems.

TITLE: "Development of food and agricultural sector"
COUNTRY: Kosovo, (Europe)
FOCUS: Integrated
NGO: AVSI - Associazione Volontari per il Servizio Internazionale

V.le Carducci, 85 - 47023 Cesena (FO) - Tel. 0547/360811 (0547/611290 fax) (Sede legale)
Via M.Gioia, 181- 20125 MILANO - Tel. 02/6749881 - (02/67490056 fax) (Sede amministrativa)
E-mail: Home page:
LOCAL PARTNER: AYA (Albanian Youth Action)

One of the most important consequences of the recent war in Kosovo, was that 75 percent of the rural population migrated: 43 percent fled abroad and 32 percent was scattered all over the country. Nowadays, 85 percent of these families have returned to their own villages. As a consequence of the war, agricultural production decreased, the harvest in 1999 was approximately 45 percent that of the one in 1997, agricultural tools used by farmers were seriously damaged, while seed, fertilizer and gasoline supplies were poor. The AVSI project focused on a professional literacy campaign, as recommended by the European Union. Counseling and training activities addressed a group of young men and women living in an agricultural area (Glaviciça - Pec Municipality). These activities were aimed at training technical operators in developing new capacities and technologies, to benefit the rural population in Kosovo. The training activities were focussed on 12 participants, but had a positive effect on the whole agricultural population of Glaviciça. The 12 original participants transferred their knowledge to other farmers, resulting in a "multiplier effect". Moreover, this training helped farmers set up micro-enterprises to revive agriculture and food production. The project included the participation of young people, to transfer new knowledge to the younger generation, with the hope that in the future they will be able to develop new technologies in the agricultural and food sectors with no external aid. At the end of the activity, the technical tools used during the program were left to the local population, to ensure continuity. The training was planned through the analysis of local needs and "job descriptions". Through the daily observation of farmers' activities, problems were understood and training activities focused on them. Field visits ascertained the cultural and technological backwardness of the area; thereby making it possible to plan training activities based on real conditions in the field. Simulations; technical and practical exercises and on-the-job training were planned, with a special focus on the territorial geomorphology and on the local agricultural traditions related to vegetables, fruit, animal husbandry, cereal growth and the transformation of farming products.

TITLE: "Rural Integrated Development in Xai-Xai"
COUNTRY: Mozambique, (Africa)
FOCUS: Small and Micro Enterprise, Literacy and Numeracy
NGO: ISCOS - Istituto Sindacale per la Cooperazione con i Paesi in via di sviluppo

Via R. Lanciani, 30 - 00162 ROMA - Tel. 06/86200640 (06/86203950 fax)
E-mail: Home page:
LOCAL PARTNER: "OTM (Organizaçao dos Trabalhadores Moçambicanos)"

Mozambique is a unique African country. Despite the fact that it was under Portuguese domination for years and underwent a painful civil war before becoming a democracy, it has always retained extraordinary vitality.

The country's independence resulted in a crisis in agriculture because of the change in economic conditions and the neglect of large plantations. With the end of "compulsory labor", farmers preferred to work on their own land rather than on state agricultural plantations, causing a decrease in the labor force. Consequently, production collapsed and goods for export fell. ISCOS aimed to help people improve their agricultural conditions, and to create assistance for increased food subsistence by educating farmers in the use of tools and new techniques, and in buying and trading crops and goods.

The Rural Integrated Development project was set up in Xai-Xai, in the Gaza District. The project founded four "Agricultural Houses" in the Sotoene, Xai-Xai, Inhamissa and Chimangue Districts. It was involved in promoting the association between micro-enterprises, developing a sales network, recuperating handicraft production, starting new work activities such as fishing and animal breeding, and providing training courses in agriculture.

The training courses were held in the "Agricultural Houses", and lasted from one to three months. To guarantee this activity, ISCOS set up a Training Center, coordinated by an Italian education director and a corresponding local teacher. The Center employed local teachers, Italian experts, several technicians, and foreign consultants. Training included literacy and numeracy, the teaching of basic techniques in agriculture and in sales of crops. The technical training used a method based on adult education. The method used was circular: theory-practice-verification-theory. It was particularly interesting to link theory with practice, because this permitted immediate employment for the trainees. Group techniques were taught to develop collaboration among people. The tools used included: blackboards, tape recorders, slides and tests. Project duration is six years: two three year periods.

TITLE: "SABABOU-MADOGO: "Education, Health and Social project for rural women"
COUNTRY: Burkina Faso, (Africa)
FOCUS: Integrated
NGO: CVCS - Centro Volontari Cooperazione allo Sviluppo

Via Bellinzona, 4 - C.P. 91 - 34170 GORIZIA - Tel. 0481/34165 (0481/536305 fax)

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world. The literacy rate of its population is 24.5 percent (male) and 12.7 percent (female); the percentage is lower in rural areas, especially for women. The project operates in the Houet District, where the education system provided by local institutes penalizes women. Specifically, the courses are expensive, are often taught in French and are mainly attended by men.

There are also serious health problems in the country. Women from Burkina Faso have the highest rate of fertility in the world, but also the highest mortality-rate for mothers and newborn babies. Malnutrition and infectious diseases such as HIV, are rife.

The CVCS project was set-up in collaboration with a local partner, the "UNION DOGORI", which is a union of cooperatives, founded in 1981. During the rainy season, the "UNION DOGORI" helps cooperative members to cultivate land and to sell crops;during the dry season it provides the community with activities, such as education and training courses. The project is aimed at helping rural women and includes two main activities: education/training and health/social services.

The education/training project offers courses in basic literacy, followed by secondary literacy courses. It also provides training in organizing and managing small and micro enterprises. This project aims to develop women's roles inside the community.

The health/social project provides health officers with courses on HIV treatment and prevention. The project also offers courses for the entire population on hygiene and nutrition. The aim of the project is to increase awareness regarding the most common infectious diseases (such as malaria), to teach food security, nutrition, family planning and HIV prevention (payingparticular attention to the transmission of the illness from mother to child).

TITLE "Food Security Programme in the districts of Macossa and Tambara (Manica Province) and Ile and Gilé (Zambezia Province)"
COUNTRY: Mozambique, (Africa)
FOCUS: Integrated

P.zza Albania, 10 - 00153 ROMA - Tel. 06/57300330-57300332-57300334 (06/5744869 fax)
E-mail: Home page:
LOCAL PARTNER: Provincial and District Directorates of Ministry of Agriculture


The project came to an end in March 2002. Activities focused on monitoring oil seed harvests, helping to find outlets for excess production, supervising the cashew chemical spraying programme, and purchasing goats for the re-stocking component. The main objective for the agricultural season was to improve the extension services in order to obtain significant productivity increases. Extension was considered a basic non-formal education activity. The aim was to greatly enhance sustainability by strengthening producer associations, and by creating more robust linkages between producers and private commercial agents, both in terms of input delivery and the commercialisation of agricultural surpluses.

Technical seminar on Rural Extension Methodologies in Northern Mozambique

In November 2001, Movimondo organised a technical seminar on rural extension in co-ordination with the Provincial Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) and the European Commission (EC) Food Security Unit (FSU). The presentations made by several NGOs, DNER and private companies focused on describing the structures of existing extension systems, methodologies adopted, co-ordination with Government extension services, the training of community facilitators, association members and the monitoring and evaluation of systems used. The presentations were successful in generating substantial debate and information exchanges among participants. Likewise, they and were further complemented by two working groups aiming at determining the quality of extension packages available, as well as discussing appropriate exit strategies and estimating the costs of extension services.

The seminar had a significant impact on facilitating dialogue among different kinds of organizations (state, NGOs, private companies). It took place during a crucil period, , as MADER and the EU FSP in Northern Mozambique were expanding with outsourcing operations targeting cashew and agricultural diversification (which involves the implementation of private agro-industrial companies). The presence of DNER also helped to create dialogue about the future pilot outsourcing operations, currently in their evaluation phase, for privatising extension services in the Zambezia and Nampula provinces. The main conclusions achieved included the following:

Strengthening the Local Extension Net

The project worked on a clear definition of the responsibilities to be taken-on by community extension assistants (CEAs concerning the distribution of seeds, and the dissemination of extension messages. It was necessary to refocus them to ensure that activities would have the desired sustainability, and that there would be no duplication of efforts by extension workers and CEAs. This is especially important in the areas where the project has been operating for two agricultural seasons, and where CEAs are capable of delivering simple technical assistance to fellow farmers. Given that all CEAs collaborating with the FSPMZ need to be literate and numerate to be elected within their community, the following tasks were determined:

The extension worker is responsible for overseeing these activities to ensure that they are properly accomplished, and for delivering extension messages among participating farmers. The main change in the CEAs responsibilities placed emphasis on credit recovery, making them directly responsible for asserting pressure on farmers to increase credit repayment rates for seeds (currently at 40 percent and 70 percent for sunflower and sesame seeds respectively). CEAs expect to be helped in this task by traditional and other local authorities within their communities. Increasing repayment rates is a pre-requisite to ensure future interest from the private sector in undertaking agricultural activities when the project finishes. The project expects to guarantee the sustainability of this network in two different ways. First, most CEAs have purchased machinery to process crops (e.g. manual oil presses), or provide agricultural services (e.g. atomiser); the project trains them in basic management of micro-enterprises, and have the personal incentives to continue providing extension services after the project's departure. Second, the project supports the emergence of producers' associations and links them and CEAs to economic agents, both for input delivery and for commercialising agricultural surpluses. The main form of training given to CEAs during the period under review was on-the-job training by extension workers and sector officials, since all 45 CEAs had already received formal training on oil seed and cashew production in previous periods.

Increased h/h crop production, with a focus on diversification and productivity

Data from the baseline survey undertaken in December 2000, shows that the average household produces seven crops throughout the agricultural cycle. The FSPMZ is already promoting increases in productivity in the traditional cash crop sector (cashew), and introducing sesame which has proved to be reasonably successful in raising agricultural incomes. After careful evaluation of market prospects and discussions with both farmers and traders, the FSPMZ chose to promote increases in the production and productivity of groundnuts and paprika in the two districts; it had already trained CEAs in paprika production techniques at the beginning of 2001 and held two demonstration plots. The FSPMZ identified 150 farmers in the Alto Ligonha region, with good access to main roads and the Nampula market, who are willing to start paprika production in the target districts.

Increased animal production

The quarantine fence, finalised at the end of July, has the capacity to accommodate 400 goats at any single time. Extension workers received a one-week training session by the Livestock Provincial Services (SPP). The training focused on the identification of the most common diseases and the application of appropriate treatments. A minimum level of assistance was considered necessary during the adaptation period, since most beneficiaries were not familiar with goat rearing techniques (essential skills needed to avoid higher than expected mortality rates).

Extension workers were supported by a livestock supervisor in this task, who helped beneficiaries to identify inexpensive local treatments to reduce the cost of treating sick animals. Primary and secondary beneficiaries were trained by extension workers and the livestock supervisor, on the construction of individual fences and basic goat rearing techniques. Beneficiaries were expected to construct an individual fence before receiving the animals to reduce mortality rates and expressed interest in the activity. All primary beneficiaries completed this task successfully.

TITLE: "Project for the economic recovery of displaced people in the agriculture and agro-industrial sectors in South Mount Lebanon region"
COUNTRY: Lebanon, (Asia)
FOCUS: Integrated
NGO: ICU - Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria

V.le Rossini, 26 - 00198 ROMA - Tel. 06/85300722 (06/8554646 fax)
E-mail: Home page

Due to 17 years of civil war in Lebanon, approximately 900 000 people were displaced. Many economic activities were abandoned and poverty in the country was wide-spread. In order to address the problems caused by the massive displacement of the population, the Lebanese Government created a Ministry for Displaced People. This Ministry formulated a national program to favour the return, during a first phase, of approximately 28 000 families to their regions of origin.

In this context, the implementation of the "Project for the Economic Recovery of Displaced People in the Agriculture and Agro-industrial Sectors", was granted to ICU by the European Commission. The project was designed to provide, within a short period, a valid scheme to sustain the return of displaced people to their communities, encouraging the recovery of economic activities in the abandoned areas. This project is based on three main components: a service and technical assistance centre for farmers, a training component and a credit scheme aimed at the creation and rehabilitation of small and medium agricultural enterprises.

The project was financed by the E.C. on budget line B/5076 "Rehabilitation", and is composed of two phases. The first phase lasted for three years, from 1996 to1999. For the second phase, the E.C. awarded ICU a new contract to complete certain activities which were not be accomplished within the framework of the first project.

The main objectives of the project are the following: to contribute to the return of displaced people to their regions of origin, to facilitate their permanence and integration with the resident population through the rehabilitation of productive activities, and to create a new medium for small-scale enterprises in the agriculture and agro-industrial sectors in the region of Southern Mount Lebanon.

The project's goal is the creation of a Service Centre for Agricultural Development.

The centre will provide the following activities:

The project has undertaken the following activities:

During the second phase, ICU aims to implement the development of the arboriculture sector through the following components:

TITLE: "Kamurugu Agricultural Development Initiatives (KADI) - Kenya"
COUNTRY: Kenya, (Africa)
FOCUS: Integrated
NGO: ACCRI - Associazione di Cooperazione Cristiana Internazionale

Via Cavana, 16/A - 34124 TRIESTE - Tel. 040/307899 - fax. 040/310123
Via S. Giovanni Bosco, 7 - 38100 TRENTO - Tel. 0461/233527 - fax. 0461/233537
E-mail: Home page:

Project activities focused on a hilly area of approximately 900 sq km, situated on the lowest south-east slopes of Mt. Kenya, where approximately 70 000 people from the Mbeere ethnic group live.

The area is characterised by frequent droughts and the soil is very poor. Social transformations and drought have destroyed the traditional economy, based on sheep rearing and a semi-nomadic agriculture. This has resulted in devastating effects on the population, with a periodic lack of harvest, malnutrition and insufficient incomes to meet basic needs, soil erosion and lack of fertile land.

ACCRI together with Embu Diocese, the local people, and local technicians planned a project to improve the local food and income situation, by supporting small-scale agricultural enterprises and providing technical skills to local farmers and cattle breeders.

The project started in 1991 with the assistance of volunteers sent by ACCRI. Since 1995, activities have been undertaken by a local team of technicians, who have achieved impressive results in fruit farming and food self-sufficiency. The projects aims to achieve the following:

The project works in the following areas:

Community development: dialogue with farmers to facilitate the development of sustainable farming activities, development of fruit production, capacity building of CBO, facilitating the growth of marketing associations, identifying alternative production options, facilitating community empowerment for socio-economic development.
Kamurugu farm: training centre, fruit production and demonstration farm, collecting and packaging centre, experimentation centre.
Gitaru farm/nursery: established nursery, certified by the Horticultural Crops Development Authority. The nursery produces high quality fruit tree seedlings (mango varieties, Citrus, Papaw, Avocado, other seedlings).
Achievements: KADI is working with approximately seventy CBOs throughout the Mebeere district, Eastern Kenya. Many farmers are now producing good quality fruit (mangoes, papaws) suitable for both local and export markets. KADI has facilitated the training of farmers' Associations called 'Mbeere Production' and 'Marketing Association'. Seedlings produced at KADI nursery are among the best in Kenya. The Association has also revived The Kiambere Honey Refinery, a project which had been on hold for the last seventeen years.

Some of the topics in community development are: fruit tree establishment management and production practices, harvest handlings, grafting, top working and budding, dry land farming techniques, leadership training, CBO development dynamics, soil and water conservation, environment conservation, animal health and production.

TITLE: "Project for a Complete Agricultural Development"
COUNTRY: Benin Republic, (Africa)
FOCUS: Literacy and Numeracy, Small and Micro Enterprise,
NGO:LTM Gruppo Laici Terzo Mondo

Via Depretis,62-sc.Cint.6-80123 NAPOLI
Tel. 081/5514147-5517067 (and fax) Home page:

The Department of the Hills, in the centre of Benin (West Africa) is classified as one of the poorest areas in the country, with an illiteracy rate which exceeds 70 percent of the population. The annual per capita income averages approximately US$350, and 35 percent of families live below the poverty line. The economy is based on agriculture, which generates 90 percent of the total income. The distribution chain is organized exclusively for cotton, with purchase prices fixed by the international market. The mainobstacles for economic development are: difficulties in accessing production means, and the lack of professional training courses for farmers. Many farmers are forced to use moneylenders, especially during periods of drought, which exacerbates poverty.

The Gruppo Laici Terzo Mondo, in collaboration with ADECS (a local NGO) and with a contribution of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Episcopalian Italian Conference, is developing a project for complete agricultural development based on the following: creation of micro-credit structures; functional literacy for adults; technical training for the increasing of cereal productivity; and start-up of income generating activities. In collaboration with the regional office for adult literacy, 17 literacy teachers were trained to undertake an intensive literacy campaign in 14 villages. The courses, which were divided into two separate units, lasted five months each. They focused on calculation, reading and writing in the national language. In addition to the courses offered, women attended training courses related to the domestic economy and the management of the income-generating activities (local product trade in regional markets, soap manufacturing, agricultural product transformation etc.). Farmers attended specific training courses related to cultivation techniques: the rational use of adequate means of production (manure, selected seeds, etc.) and the reduction of post-harvest losses. Nine Saving and Rural Loan Funds (CREP) were founded in nine different villages, while staff wer trained in financial and accounting management.

CREP is funded with an NGO grant plus an amount given from each member (about 4 Euro each). CREP manages itself independently, ensuring a turnover and advantages for all beneficiaries. It also gives small credit with no warranty to the very poor; and to those who would not normally be granted credit from other financial institutions.


The project, started up in July 2000, has achieved the following results in less than two years:

Mrs Monique WUNCEME, illiterate until 2000, now owns a notebook. She uses it to record, in her own language, all her income generating operations and activities. For example, she wrote: 'I bought 20 "caga" (bows, local measurement) of corn at 1 000 Francs each. I spent 20 000 Francs in total. I sold them at 1 500 francs each, earning 30 000 Francs. By subtracting 20 000 Francs (employed for the purchase) from the 30 000 Francs, my net profit was 10 000 Francs. Marvellous!'

Click here to go back to Part 1

SD Homepage Back to Top FAO Homepage