Sustainable Practical Program for Africa (SUPPA) has been organizing smallholder farmers into organized groups to synchronize their voices in advocating for policy change, food production, value addition and marketing of farm produce. This project proposes to train the rural farmers on how they can use the citizen media to engage the government in seeking agricultural services to boost their farming activities. This is an addition to empowering them with information on how they access information through the same media to expand and diversify their farming ventures.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
We will be working with 200 farmers in Njoro sub-county, NakuruCounty. These farmers are engaged in mixed farming and have formed associations to market their produce.However; they need to reach out to the government for assistance to marketing their produce. They also need to water to sustain their agricultural activities regardless of the drought season and this can only happen if they have dams or water pans within their accessibility. To have this they need the government support through the relevant ministries. These are learned farmers who own mobile phones with features for internet connectivity; all they need to know is what applications to use for their advantage.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Walter Korir- http://www.facebook.com korir_kibet
Mwende Kasoa- http://www.facebook.com/ liliankasoa
Loreen Omondi- http://www.facebook.com/ omondiloreen
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Agricultural developments in their localities following their successful interaction with the government will be great stories to tell to other farmers across Kenya. By the use of Facebook and Twitter, the farmers will be able to share with others on their experiences, challenges and means through which they were able to reach out to the government to seek service delivery in agricultural developments. Thisway, there will be vibrant farmers’ engagements with agricultural officers in various regions across Kenya. After the training, they will be required to form groups which will create their accounts for sharing information in addition to their own personal accounts.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
We have established Nakuru County Food Security and Climate Change Network which constitutes of nine groups spread across Nakuru County.Further, we closely work with Kenya’s Meteorological Department and Kenya Agricultural Research Institute. These agencies make up a reliable network for sensitizing farmers on the favorable crops to grow based on the area climatic condition. We have made these connections through previous engagements with the farmers in which we involved some of the officials in enlightening the farmers on modern ways of farming.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We will train 200 farmers. We will provide meals and hire transport to attend the trainings. This in consideration that by the time of receiving invitation to attend the workshop, they may not be having fare. We will also provide adequate writing and training materials as well as ensure the information is broken down into simpler terms for the farmers to understand. The training will be participatory and they will be allowed to ask questions where necessary and be sufficiently responded to. For those who will not be having compatible mobile phones, we will encourage and guide them on the type of models to buy.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
I am an expert in agricultural matters and have helped farmers make progressive developments in their farming activities.
My partners are as well versed with farming activities in Nakuru County and together we have collaborated in promoting agricultural activities among the rural farmers.Further,they are conversant with the dynamics of citizen media that is they are active users of Facebook and Twitter as well as their latest feature developments appropriate for use among the farmers. We opt for the mobile technology because that is the common technology the farmers have adopted and could easily use
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We will hold the workshops in paid-up conference rooms with a maximum capacity of 50 participants. They will be well ventilated and spacious. We will have one projector for the purpose of illustrations and one public address unit.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
SUPPA has been working with these communities for the last four years. As a result of our extensive interactions, we have been able to identify the missing links in their agricultural developments but due to the financial constraints, we have not been able to satisfy their information needs.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Negative perception of the whole project. The farmers may feel we are using them to acquire funds for our own benefits.However; we will be able to explain to them in elaborative terms the necessity of the training. We will clarify our main objectives and vision for the project.
Illness. Some of the invited farmers may fall sick or even one of my partners or myself. For the farmers, we will assign one of them to share the information with the rest who fails to attend. As for my partners, we will have to be ready to double our efforts and take over when one of us is absent.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Success will be determined by the number of the trained farmers able to access various agricultural services from the government. This will be represented in their responses to the information posted online by fellow farmers.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
1st June-30th June 2014-Training farmers on how to access information on better farming systems and market prices through mobile phones short message service
1st July-31th July 2014-2nd training- Building farmers capacity on how to access information through mobile internet services
1st Aug-31st Aug-Evaluation of success
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
meals and transport reimbursement- 1,990 USD
Hall hire-175 USD
Training materials-160 USD
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Testimonials on other successful projects across the globe.
SUSTAINABLE PRACTICAL PROGRAM FOR AFRICA