Blog Post

New E-Learning Courses Launched on FSP E-Learning Platform

The Food Security Portal E-learning Platform has launched two new courses: the French version of the Pro-WEAI (Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index) Foundations Module and a brand-new course focused on training Farmer Business School facilitators.

The Pro-WEAI Foundations Module was developed by the IFPRI team behind the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index, which is the first standardized instrument to measure women’s empowerment and inclusion in the agricultural sector at the project level. The course introduces researchers to the background and practical applications of the index, particularly those whose work would benefit from an understanding of how to measure women’s empowerment in various types of agricultural development projects. This course serves as the introductory module for those who wish to continue in the more specialized modules currently under development. 

The Farmer Business School (FBS) e-course was developed specifically to train facilitators of the Farmer Business School approach, which is a participatory, action-learning process focused on product and business development. The methodology, developed by the International Potato Center (CIP), builds on the CIP Participatory Market Chain Approach and integrates elements of the Farmer Field School methodology to address key constraints to effective market linkages, particularly related to limited business skills and ineffective farmer organizations. Trained FBS facilitators work directly with farmer groups to assist them in identifying market opportunities, conducting market assessments, developing new products, and forging stronger relationships with traders and other actors along the value chain.

The Farmer Business School e-course was developed for development practitioners who wish to implement the approach and helps facilitators through the Farmer Business School manual. The course grew out of a call for proposals for e-learning content on value chain-related tools for improving food security, put out by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) Value Chains Knowledge Portal and the Food Security Portal. The winning proposal on the Farmer Business School approach was developed by Dr. Diego Naziri of the International Potato Center.

The FSP  E-learning Platform is an open access platform. It includes both courses designed specifically for the FSP and a listing of external training resources and courses for economists and food security researchers and practitioners. Current courses include a course on partial equilibrium models instructed by IFPRI’s Antoine Bouet. The Food Security Portal is constantly adding quality e-learning courses to its e-learning platform. Upcoming e-courses include two additional courses instructed by Bouet on introductory general equilibrium models and advanced general equilibrium models, both of which will be added this year. These will provide, respectively, the basic principles and a simple example of a general equilibrium model and more advanced examples that take into account public administration, household savings, and investment by firms.