Indian women in Tamil Nadu have already repaid 98% of loans granted by commercial banks to build their business skills and farming practices, following the Commonwealth of Learning (COL)’s Lifelong for Learning (L3F) model
Indian women in Tamil Nadu have already repaid 98% of loans granted by commercial banks to build their business skills and farming practices, following the Commonwealth of Learning (COL)’s Lifelong for Learning (L3F) model.
Over two years, 32,000 women in Tamil Nadu, India have been scaling up their farming businesses by borrowing US$12 million, and have increased capacity to the extent that they have been able to repay 98% of loans.
Through COL partner VIDIYAL, an organisation that specialises in sustainable agriculture, self-development, health and legal aid, women farmers were taken into learning groups which focused on financial and corporate literacy, enterprise development and sustainable farming practices.
Under India’s Companies Act, they established farmer producer companies and became major shareholders.
COL’s L3F initiative works to strengthen the agricultural sector in Commonwealth member states and ensure the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable women and youth.
It supports farming communities, particularly women, in building capacity through open and distance learning (ODL) and links the flexible and blended learning process with financial and social capital.
COL President Asha Kanwar said: “COL catalyses the partnerships between communities, experts, financial institutions, ICT providers and the market to create a win-win situation for all.
“COL utilised open and distance learning strategies, as well as ICT facilities such as mobile phones and community radios to facilitate a continuous learning process for these women in their own languages.
“These efforts not only benefit the women but bring about positive change in their families and communities.”