A decade of innovative farmer learning using video
Guest blog dedicated to Access Agriculture 10th Anniversary
Join us in celebrating Access Agriculture’s 10th Anniversary this year. I wish to describe this milestone as “a decade of innovative farmer learning,” achieved through the promotion of agricultural training videos in local languages, such as Yoruba -- my native language -- and Hausa, a language spoken by the Hausa people. Yoruba and Hausa are among the major languages spoken in Nigeria.
Access Agriculture is an international NGO that encourages the use of training videos to help farmers learn about environmental-friendly agricultural and postharvest practices to improve their profits. The videos can not only be seen online, but they can also be freely downloaded.
The videos have been valuable tools in agricultural extension activities for smallholder farmers in various farming enterprises. They cover many important topics that include new farming techniques of intercropping, organic fertilisers, etc., as can be seen on Access Agriculture’s video-sharing platform (www.accessagriculture.org).
To accelerate the achievement of SDG1 and SDG2, it is important to mitigate the effects of climate change on food systems and develop methods for climate change adaptation in modern agriculture. Sustainable farming will be realized by maintaining the ecosystem for optimum food production and supporting better stewardship of biodiversity goods and services.
In many countries of Africa, especially Mali and Benin, more than 80 percent of rural population depend on farming for income and livelihood. Most of them, however, have little access to knowledge about good agricultural practices on which food security depends.
Access Agriculture videos on natural resource management, and ways to cope with climate change and natural disasters are therefore very precious resources for these farmers.
These videos are not only easily accessible, but also affordable for them. I heard recently that a mobile video vendor has sold about 560 Access Agriculture videos over a period of 120 days at the rate of about US$1 per video, indicating that farmers are willing to pay for e-learning.
One of the many ways of achieving the sustainability we need in global food systems is the availability of enabling innovations as well as the technology required to encourage capacity development of the food system players at all levels. A kind of learning that uses the multi-disciplinary approach connecting the environment, health, energy and infrastructure is necessary.
This 10th Anniversary of Access Agriculture is the right time to send out an urgent call for action to farmers, youth and rural women, food system decision makers in the public and private sectors, scientists, development partners, civil society, and to society at large, to come together, jointly imagine and build resilient and sustainable food systems by supporting capacity building and innovations in training.
Let us join Access Agriculture for innovative video learning in all aspects of agroecology and organic farming, food processing and agri-business skills for a more prosperous and greener future. Private and public sectors are welcome to play a role to help us reach the last mile -- our farmers.