climate change

Sauti ya Wakulima

Posted by cubo23 on Nov 04, 2011
Sauti ya Wakulima data sheet 455 Views

Sauti ya wakulima, "The voice of the farmers", is a collaborative, multimedia knowledgebase created by farmers from the Chambezi region of the Bagamoyo District in Tanzania. By using smartphones, farmers gather audiovisual evidence of their practices, and publish images and voice recordings on the Internet.

Since March 2011, the participants of Sauti ya wakulima, a group of five men and five women, gather every Monday at the agricultural station in Chambezi. They use a laptop computer and a 3G Internet connection to view the images and hear the voice recordings that they posted during the week. They also pass the two available smartphones on to other participants, turning the phones into shared tools for communication. The smartphones are equipped with GPS modules and an application that makes it easy to send pictures and sounds to the Internet. The farmers at Chambezi use them to document their daily practices, make reports about their observations regarding changes in climate and related issues, and also to interview other farmers, expanding thus their network of social relationships.

Sauti ya wakulima
Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

- Enable small-scale farmers in rural areas to create an evidence-based multimedia database of their observations about climate change and related phenomena, their effects on their crops and practices, and the strategies and solutions they implement in order to adapt to change. Provide them with the necessary digital communication tools (mobile phones and an Internet-based platform) to do so.

- Encourage the formation of an online and offline network of farmers within the district of Bagamoyo, and facilitate the exchange of knowledge among them through a common web page and periodical face-to-face meetings.

- Establish a communication interface that will improve the flow of information between farmers, extension officers and researchers, focusing on facilitating the two-way flow of information.

- Train farmers in the basic usage of ICT tools, such as web pages and GPRS mobile communications.

- Work in close collaboration with local extension officers and agricultural authorities, who can shape their decisions and policies based on the farmers' field recordings.

- Work together with both local and international agricultural research teams, encouraging them to study and learn from the knowledge gathered by the farmers and integrate it into their practices.

- Link to other entities working with ICT and civil society organizations in Tanzania, Africa and the rest of the world, in order to achieve a cross-regional, multi-cultural knowledge base that can lead to comparative studies and an improved understanding of the day-to-day reality of small-scale farmers in different locations and social settings.

Brief description of the project: 

Sauti ya wakulima, "The voice of the farmers", is a collaborative, multimedia knowledgebase created by farmers from the Chambezi region of the Bagamoyo District in Tanzania. By using smartphones, farmers gather audiovisual evidence of their practices, and publish images and voice recordings on the Internet.

Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 

Farmers have expressed their satisfaction with the project, and wish to continue with the publications. The farmers at Chambezi have explicitly asked the "Sauti ya wakulima" team to expand the project to other areas in the District, so that they can learn from farmers in remote locations. They have also been successful in disseminating their collaborative knowledge base, by sharing their web page with other farmers at the regional farmers' fair held in Morogoro, on August 2011. 

In some cases, specific images and voice recordings have triggered successful processes of mutual learning. One farmer, for instance, learned that he was not planting maize in an adequate way, by looking at a picture on the website and listening to its corresponding voice recording.

The active involvement of the local extension officer (who is also the group coordinator for the "Sauti ya wakulima" project) has resulted in timely actions taken to mitigate concrete problems, such as a grasshopper attack which affected rice crops during the month of June. The extension officer took action after seeing the pest being reported on the web page.

Local authorities, up to the highest level of political charge, have been introduced to the project and have expressed their support.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

So far, training has been insufficient. Farmers need to undergo more intensive capacity-building sessions, so that they can become more proficient users of smartphones and web browsing. Training on how to do better interviews is also needed.

The project needs continued funding in order to become sustainable. We are currently finding ways to assure continued funding so that the project can continue, expand and realize its full potential.

Display project in profile: 

Earth Day, the Environment and Mobile Phones: A Round-Up

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Apr 22, 2010

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