There is a natural need for farmers to learn from each other which cropping patterns, cultivars, irrigation techniques, pest and disease control, or poultry/livestock rearing practices work and which do not work. In other words, what are ‘Good Practices’ to follow and what are bad practices to avoid. Such Horizontal Learning by farmers is practical and demand-driven, not undertaken for academic interest.
The term ‘Horizontal Learning’ is defined in many different ways in many different contexts but is essentially characterised as a peer-to-peer learning process. It is different from formal education systems where teachers and students are not peers but come from different walks of life. In formal education systems, teachers and students have a hierarchical relationship, in which teachers determine the topics and design the pedagogy. But in peer-to-peer learning systems, the peers set the learning agenda and pedagogy themselves as per peers need. There has not remained any specific learning boundary.