Agricultural Education, Natural Resources and Vocational Library Information Initiative

The goal of the agricultural education, natural resources and vocational skills library project is to meet the demand for primary- and secondary-level books on agricultural education, natural resources and vocational information for schools and libraries across Africa.

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According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 73 percent of the rural population of Africa consists of smallholder famers, and in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, agriculture accounts for 21 percent of the entire continent’s GDP. As the world’s largest shipper of donated books to Africa, Books For Africa continually receives on-the-ground requests for agricultural education, natural resources and vocational information; however, Books For Africa does not receive many donated books on these subjects. In order to meet the demand for this information, Books For Africa has researched and developed a high-school level “core library” of agricultural education, natural resources and vocational materials to offer to recipients of its book shipments in Africa.

The agricultural education, natural resources and vocational skills library is modeled after Books For Africa’s successful Jack Mason Law & Democracy library project, which is supported by former U.N Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former Vice President Walter Mondale and contains hundreds of legal books donated by Thomson Reuters. In addition, Books For Africa also offers a library of health care resources sponsored by Merck Pharmaceuticals.

Library Contents

Books For Africa conducted research among experts in the agriculture, natural resources and vocational fields -- and within Africa -- to develop a collection of books in the general categories of plants, animals and soils to serve as the overall core library of information. This agricultural, natural resources and vocational skills library is aimed at providing high-school level agricultural education information and resources to rural populations in Africa, and includes books from sources as wide-ranging as the FAO and major universities to small publishers and equipment manufacturers.

The content of the core library reflects the diverse range of agricultural education information needs in Africa, and includes books on key identified topics, such as:

  • Crop and soil science
  • Tropical and dry land agriculture
  • Water resource management
  • Food production
  • Forestry, horticulture and aquaculture
  • Livestock and animal care
  • Electrical and wiring needs
  • Tool safety and operation
  • Metals and welding

* Based upon ongoing feedback from recipients and availability of books, the library contents will be adjusted appropriately.

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