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Farmers in developing countries need a range of skills in order to improve their livelihoods. They need to get organized into groups, understand how to use their natural resources in a sustainable way, and market their produce profitably and effectively. They also need to manage their finances, save money and organize credit, all while identifying, testing and adopting innovations.

Together, these are Skills for Marketing and Rural Transformation (SMART Skills). They enable a group of farmers to make the most of their resources.

This manual introduces field agents, extension workers and program managers to the SMART Skills approach. The six lessons cover the following topics:

  • Using a skills-based approach
  • A closer look at the SMART Skills
  • Organizing the team
  • Working with the community
  • Ensuring sustainability
  • Building a training plan

Each lesson includes guidelines, exercises to do with team members or with a group of farmers, and quizzes to test your understanding.

This is one manual in a series on SMART Skills. Other manuals in this series cover individual skills in detail.


Available in English, French, and Spanish