Pearson Literacy Dairy Farm Project
Adopting Good Farm Management and Best Dairy Practices via Literacy and Capacity Building
Among two hundred and thirty two farmers that were involved in a recent survey carried out by the Economics and Social Science Research Centre from MARDI on dairy farms in Peninsular Malaysia, majority of them (70%) are either school leavers or attained primary school education. Further, most of them are ageing (above 50 years old). The study found that majority of the farmers is illiterate or have very minimum literacy level (they are familiar only in one language, i.e., Tamil) and as such struggle in understanding emerging issues pertaining to dairy farm management, good dairy practices and unable to scale-up their industry from low yield to high yield with no alternative income.
Many best dairy farms across USA, Australia and New Zealand have been successful to incorporate tourism in the form of agro-tourism or farm-tourism that will be an alternative income for the dairy farmers.
The goals of the project are:
- To innovate new literacy solutions for dairy farmers using Pearson’s products and services.
- To educate, train and promote good farm management and best dairy practices and raise alternative income (i.e. incorporating agro-tourism) via Pearson direct delivery and inside services.
- To exchange information among dairy farmers, civil society and grass root organizations, veterinary officers, extension personnel, scientists and policy makers concerning issues and challenges concerning dairy farms in Peninsular Malaysia
- To discuss the strengths and weaknesses of current dairy farm management and practices
- To allow transfer of knowledge and skills gained to other dairy farmers
- To replicate this project model in other states and districts
The above proposed goals will address the main issue of literacy, best farm management practices and certification of the farmers. This includes:
- Allowing project team (IGAUPM and Pearson) to collaborate closely with assistance from field experts on agriculture (Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, MARDI), and agro-tourism (Taylor’s University, Malaysia) to understand challenges at hand that limit the comprehension of dairy farmers concerning emerging issues of the dairy sector
- Providing the opportunity to dairy farmers to offer insights and share knowledge and skills on current farm management operations and dairy practices
- Facilitating the education, training and promotion of good farm management and dairy practices by successful dairy farmers, society and grass root organizations, veterinary officers, extension personnel, scientists and policy makers
- Transferring knowledge and skill gained to other dairy farmers
The project aspires to achieve the goals by breaking down the components involved in good farm management and dairy practices in simplistic and easy to comprehend materials, i.e., site visits, hands-on workshops, etc. A periodic and continuous assessment will be carried out to assess the progress of the project goals.
This project is aimed for selected small dairy farms that were covered in the previous study undertaken by MARDI and concentrated in the Southern Zone of Peninsular Malaysia.