Although the provision of Internet and mobile services has enabled farmers in developing counties to seek information on their own, there are still a few number of relevant contents that are available to them. There is, therefore, a need to develop more quality media and communication materials that can empower farmers and improve their farming knowledge and practices.
Similarly, the power of information and communication technologies can also be harnessed in order to support South-South learning between farmers.
These points were emphasized by Paul Van Mele and colleagues from Kenya, Belguim, Benin, Bangladesh, and UK when they studied Access Agriculture, a video platform that helps facilitate a cross-cultural, South-South farmer-to-farmer learning.
Similar to Digital Green, Access Agriculture also invests in organizations to train farmers in developing quality farmer training videos. It trains local partners to produce quality videos in English or in French.
The study found that video-mediated learning has been beneficial to improving farming knowledge and practices. In particular:
- It improved women’s knowledge about seed health in Bangladesh.
- It increased farmers’ confidence to interact with extension workers in Mali.
- It enhanced both farming knowledge and practices of farmers in Benin.
The study concludes by discussing some key learnings and challenges in Access Agriculture, such as enabling farmers’ access or last mile delivery, the need for a translator or intermediary, strengthening social inclusion, and expanding partnerships with organizations and companies.
A full copy of the Van Mele, et al.’s research may be accessed here.
(Featured image was taken from the LinkedIn page of Access Agriculture)