In the increasingly digital world in which we live, information can still be hard to come by for many. An international NGO, Access Agriculture, established by NGOs Agro-Insight and Countrywise Communications in 2012 is working to close global agricultural knowledge gaps.
Although only around 15.6% of the African population, according to 2012 figures, has access to the internet, the telecommunications market in Africa is one of the fastest growing in the world. Mobile phone subscribers have increased 18% each year for the past five years and, while coverage is only at around a third of the population, the rapid increase in mobile phone use is motivating telecommunications companies to develop Broadband Wireless Access technologies to connect more people to the internet.
And this could be beneficial to farmers, connecting them with various information sources from around the world. Access Agriculture is a platform for agricultural R&D staff, service providers, extension agents, communication professionals and representatives of farmer organisations, which provides agricultural training videos in local languages. Their aim being to make knowledge on sustainable agriculture accessible to people in developing countries.
Training videos are available across a wide range of topics from cereals to livestock to mechanisation to integrated pest management. From conservation agriculture and agroforestry to conflict resolution and input buying.
To check out some of the videos on offer click here.
Access Agriculture is also in the process of developing Agtube (think YouTube for agriculture) where people can upload their own videos to share with the agricultural community. Set to be launched soon, Agtube, through increasing two way dialogue between agricultural actors, may provide opportunities for innovation through collaboration. We also hope we will learn more about the challenges developing country farmers face and the solutions they have developed.
Online sustainable agricultural training is also provided by the Rainforest Alliance.