Achieving Community Development through an Agricultural Extension Programme: Technology Dissemination for Mushroom Farmers

  • Nilantha De Silva University of Ruhuna
  • Mahinda Wijeratne University of Ruhuna
Keywords: Agricultural extension, L3F programme, mushroom, community development

Abstract

Mushroom production is a small-scale business unit in rural areas. The Life Long Learning for Farmers (L3F) Programme aims to enhance the socio-economic conditions for them, increasing their access to and use of knowledge and technology. This study evaluates the outcomes of the L3F Programme at the community level. Data were collected through a pre-tested questionnaire survey. The sample consisted of 30 L3F farmers. Farmers’ achievement was assessed by the Farmer Performance Index (FPI). Results indicate that mushroom farmers have scaled up their production; have improved their productivity; designed new experiments to minimise the impact of pests and diseases; focused on environmental sustainability and scientific mushroom production; and improved the quality of packaging. The mobile app Bimmal Govi, blended with Information and Communication Technology, helped them to move with the latest technological advancements. The L3F Programme has increased the standards of mushroom production, helping the farmers become promising entrepreneurs.

Author Biographies

Nilantha De Silva, University of Ruhuna

Department of Agricultural Economics & Extension

Senior Lecturer Grade I

Mahinda Wijeratne, University of Ruhuna

Mahinda Wijeratne is an Emeritus Professor attached to the Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of
Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. He was the key person to get this project to Ruhuna University and worked as the project coordinator from 2008 to 2017. During his tenure, he scaled up the project activities to the Southern province and worked to enhance the living standard of mushroom farmers.

Email: mahindaw@agecon.ruh.ac.lk

Published
2021-07-19
How to Cite
De Silva, N., & Wijeratne, M. (2021). Achieving Community Development through an Agricultural Extension Programme: Technology Dissemination for Mushroom Farmers. Journal of Learning for Development , 8(2), 398-411. Retrieved from https://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/481