Connecting Rural Farmers With Vital Knowledge


Lydia Namubiru is the Marketing & Communications Analyst for Grameen Foundation’s Community Knowledge Worker initiative in Uganda.

In early 2009, Grameen Foundation went to Uganda with the idea of creating a fluid and effective two way communication channel between rural farmers and the world of agricultural experts, development agencies, traders and commercial players. Through this loop, rural small holder farmers would be given livelihood saving agricultural information generated by the experts and the big players would keep informed on conditions on the farm from adoption of best practices to available produce for sale.

This poster educated people on the benefits of sending a text message like "My bananas are sick!"

If you know much about agricultural extension services in rural Africa, you could have called such a ambition, well, ambitious. Traditionally, taking agricultural extension services to these farmers who live in far and hard to reach places is slow, expensive and inefficient because it is riddled with bottlenecks such as poor or no road infrastructure and few extension workers spread thin over vast areas.

The CKW program's Google G1's being charged up by rays of sunlight

Grameen Foundation’s technology center had a plan – harness the power of the mobile phone, a technology that is oblivious to such bottlenecks and combine it with a network of human intermediaries that can be trained to fully leverage its capabilities for the benefit of the farmer. The Community Knowledge Worker concept was thus born but would it work?

Continue reading at the AppLab Blog.

Download the full Community Knowledge Worker Pilot Report.

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4 Responses to “Connecting Rural Farmers With Vital Knowledge”

  1. Fehmeen Says:

    I like this marketing campaign. I think, over the years, most of this information can be stored outside mobile phones, in books, or posters, or images/pictograms (once it has been retrieved by the Community Knowledge Worker) so it can be easily accessed by different people in the region, and also so there isn’t any repetition in the information requests sent to the mobile application.

  2. Chetan Says:

    is this pilot project replicable in India. I am from a place which is rich in agriculture but with less information system.

  3. venkatakrishnan Says:

    Even i wana know if this project is available for poor farmers in India
    i would like to be a bridge between the latest technology in agriculture sector and the downtrodden farmers to help themselves out of drought affected areas


    This seems a workable proposition in Indian Rural Villages and hence, we require more and more Information should be made available on this very Imp. Subject, without wasting more time. Thank you and all the

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