Modern Knowledge: Farmers’ organisations in Africa launch a video library

by Philipp Conze-Roos

As a special service, some AHA partners in Kenya and Uganda are offering a video library on their websites that farmers can use to find out about good agricultural practices. In so doing, they access material from other websites and catalogue this in several languages together with additional information. The videos remain in their original location and are accessed via a link. As a result, farmers' organisations are making interesting content available centrally for users.
Screenshot der Video Library von KENAFF
Screenshot der Video Library von KENAFF

“With this new offer, we will increase awareness about KENAFF in the public and become more attractive for farmers. Using the USSD-System, where by now over 100,000 farmers have registered, we will be able to promote the KENAFF Video Library quickly and enhance the KENAFF visibility and attractiveness to farmers all over Kenya. The videos available there will help our farmers to produce more effectively, become more competitive in their markets and, generally, improve the quality of lives and livelihoods for farmers.”

Dr. Mwendah M’Mailutha, CEO of the Kenya National Farmers’ Federation (KENAFF)

The Corona pandemic has led to many changes, including for the AHA’s international work. Travelling has not been possible and much has shifted over into the digital world. It has become clear that, here too, there is great potential still to be developed and exploited. Our partners too – farmers’ organisations in Africa and India – are experiencing and taking advantage of this change. If advisers can no longer go to farm businesses, how will the necessary knowledge about production methods reach the farmers? As a result, we have developed the idea of an internet-based video library for farmers in African countries.

Together with our partners – KENAFF (the Kenya National Farmers’ Federation) and UNYFA (the Young Farmers’ Federation of Uganda) – the AHA has set up a database with links to professional information videos for farmers in their countries. These are publicly available on a website tailored to each respective organisation. Our partners have searched the internet and compiled a long list of interesting videos, which are now being worked through. The first 200 videos have already been prepared. Unlike with YouTube, each video is summarised and sequenced, allowing the user to jump to certain parts of the video and thereby save time and data volume. In addition, the information itself aims to be helpful even without the video. All videos and textual content can be found quickly via categorisation, keyword search and full text search.

Once someone has identified an interesting video, a link will take them to the original website from where it will then be streamed. Users also have the opportunity to contribute comments and detailed reviews and to show other users particularly interesting information by means of an evaluation. What is important for use in the African context is to have website and textual content available in up to four languages per organisation – this makes the videos, which are mostly produced in English or French, accessible for the rural population.

The Author

Philipp Conze-Roos

Deputy Director international

Screenshot der Video Library von KENAFF

Currently, the focus is on production-oriented videos, from tips on milking cows by hand through avoiding insect infestation in manioc to successful potato storage. The goal for 2021 is to catalogue up to 1,000 videos. Teams of editors are working on this in Kenya and Uganda, still supported by Germany. In the long term, the plan is to leave this entirely in the hands of the partners and to add more countries, because the database in the background is the same.

The internet is a great source, but videos are often not easy to find. This service provided by farmers’ organisations is of direct benefit to their current – and future – members because the library is publicly accessible.