Monday, 2 June 2008

Video based approach for agricultural learning content

Digital Green is an agricultural training and advising system in India that seeks to benefit rural farmers by disseminating targeted information through digital videos. A geographically-dispersed, culturally-diverse rural population of farmers remains disconnected from expert information that could improve the sustainability of their livelihoods. Various extension systems have been tried before, however, Digital Green aims to build a system that can scale agricultural advising support to even the smallest subsistence farmer. Digital Green bootstraps on the local expert knowledge of existing NGOs and farmers by capturing and distributing the widest selection of content in the most targeted, practically-oriented format – videos.

The video based approach has several important advantages to traditional forms of agricultural content, which is typically not in the local language, intended for a literate audience, uses expert terminology, lacks grassroots level practicalities, and remains inaccessible in a sea of scattered media.

  • Farmers, by the nature of their occupation, rely on their auditory and visual senses and video, though not perfect, comes closest to capturing the scene in detail. Video creation tends to be faster and less expensive than other types of media, as advanced preparation in “lesson”-planning can minimize post-production editing.
  • Video can compress the time needed to reveal the change.
  • Video provides a means of bringing relevant demonstrations into the homes of farmers.
  • Video also reduces the human resources required to follow-up with individual farmers and demonstrate time-consuming methods in the field.

The DG database is currently being populated with video of various types. This includes:

  • Testimonials of farmers sharing their experiences with better agricultural methods
  • Groups showcasing an alternative income generating activity
  • Experts leading a step-by-step demonstration
  • Meteorological data
  • Marketing and government program information
  • Entertaining local clippings