Erasmus+ Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
Farming is the principal economic activity in most rural areas of the EU. About half of the population of the EU lives in rural areas. Without farming there would be little to keep many communities alive and hold them together. If farming were to disappear, in many areas there would be a problem of land abandonment.
Therefore, EU’s Common Agricultural Policy supports farmers in many aspects.
Many farmers are over the age of 55 and will retire from active farming at some point in the future or women who are less educated and do not have entrepreneurship competences. Especially women represent a substantial share of the total agricultural labour force and their contributions are mostly invisible. They are not seen “productive” since they are generally expected to work without payment. This invisibility at the intersection of markets, state and society has suppressed the whole potential of woman farmers worldwide. Helping woman farmers get started is a policy ‘must’ if Europe’s rural areas are successfully to meet the many challenges that face them.
Woman farmers generally do not have formal vocational education, they are less educated and they learn farming by informal learning while working in their farms or other farms. Therefore, they need vocational training and guidance in their work places. Unfortunately, there is no formal or non-formal vocational training service for them.
The EMWOFA partnership was made up of 3 universities, one public body, one vocational school, one chamber of agriculture and one NGO from 5 countries.
The partners prepared the content of the trainings and train extension educators and women. A public body responsible for agriculture and a chamber of agriculture were responsible for the dissemination of the project. The video production team of VisMedNet was responsible for the production of E-Learning Videos and Web portal of the project which were used for blended learning.
EMWOFA Projects provided “Trainings of Extension Educators” in order to train extension educators who helped woman farmers to improve their business skills and farms. This had a multiplier effect and the partners reached more woman farmers in the EU with these trained extension educators in Europe.
The project also used these trained extension educators to provide local trainings for woman farmers in order to improve their business skills and farms and develop technical, entrepreneurial and managerial skills.
EMWOFA E-Learning Videos were an important intellectual output of this project. Woman farmers who were less literate and could not have an opportunity to attend the trainings watched these E-Learning Videos and were trained.