Village Knowledge Centres: Transforming Capacity of Farmers in Rural Ethiopia

Azage Tegegne

The Ethiopian Government commissioned the creation of 15,000 Farmer Training Centres (FTCs) to help develop the capacity of farmers and pastoralists. Built with leadership from the community; the centres trained farmers to diploma level on crop production, natural resources and animal production.

The Government later requested 40 of these centres be developed to service the whole community in a pilot scheme. Consultation was done at grass-roots level with community leaders, religious leaders, women and young people; the centres were turned into Village Knowledge Centres. The centres were equipped with books, training materials, newspapers, a DVD player, a TV set and a desktop compute. Where necessary generators were added and where possible internet connections were established. The centres are now used by the whole community as; a regular meeting place, a source of market information, training centres for farmers, communication with family members and an entertainment centre for watching sporting events, entertainment and education videos.

The success of these centres was because of multiple reasons. Firstly, participatory development of the centres meant they were built based on community needs. Consulting and developing these centres with local people helped create a sense of community ownershop and trust. The existence of the FTCs was an important foundation, however the willingness to collaborate and the courage to innovate meant the centres have achieved their potential and serve the community well.


Year of publication: 
UNDP Capacity is Development knowledge fair
Themes and sectors: 
Agriculture, fisheries, and food security
Themes and sectors: 
Information and communications technology

The above is a summary or extract from the original source material. For the complete case story, please see the address given above.