Mr Gnanavel firmly believes that lifelong learning makes a difference. This farmer from Tamil Nadu, India cultivates cotton and maize on his 2.5 acre plot. Through COL-led Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3F), he has been able to expand his knowledge and increase outputs.
Over the years, Mr Gnanavel has received regular voice messages on his cell phone about local and season-specific agricultural practices. He has also enjoyed in-person support from local extension workers and has benefited from information exchange via a farmers’ social media group.
Improved agricultural practices have helped Mr Gnanavel prevent significant farming losses.
“In 2020, I was getting ready to sow maize when I was told to wait for a week because the forecast indicated rains only after a week,” he says. Together with other farmers in his village, Mr Gnanavel postponed sowing and was able to get a good yield. “Had we proceeded with planting a week earlier, we would have met with considerable loss due to poor germination,” he adds.
Mr Gnanavel meticulously follows L3F tips on soil testing, water management and fertiliser application, as well as weed, pest and disease control.
“Ever since I became a mobile learner, I have been able to avoid unnecessary expenditures and wastage of inputs, and my crop yield has increased,” he proudly notes.
Dr Moses Tenywa, COL Education Specialist: Agriculture and Livelihoods, said: “Mr Gnanavel’s story is a good example of how L3F contributes to sustainable livelihoods, with tangible impact on both the macro and individual level.”