Catholic Relief Services (CRS) - Ghana
The Agriculture & Livelihood Program of CRS deployed its DCS kits to rural communities, with the aim of reaching 17,000 farmers to facilitate increased agriculture production and build farmers resilience to climate change
The Digital Classroom System was adopted based on its ability to reach a wide and varied audience. Its mode of operation allowed farmers to benefit from training in the night when they would have finished their work and also in cases of pandemics and disasters that limits accessibility of extension workers to farmers.
Considering the prevailing low extension officer-to-farmer ratio and the outbreak of the covid19 pandemic, CRS would have been very handicapped had not been for the DCS kits deployment as they helped salvaged the only cropping season of the year available to farmers up north .
CRS leveraged on existing videos which were the fruit of successful partnership with the Feed the Future – Ghana Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) project and added few more videos produced this time in the “Likpakpa” dialect which maximized the project reach to the entire Eastern corridor of Northern Ghana which a very huge farming population.
CRS trained Agricultural Extension Agents from the district departments of the Ministry of Foods and Agriculture (MoFA) to lead the extension dissemination process. Some few youths from the communities were also trained to operate the systems for trainings. In total, 20,000 men and women farmers in 3 districts in the northern region of Ghana were documented as beneficiaries.
Rural communities, utilizing both projector and power bank to nighttime training of farmers and also to share other relevant information such as prevention and management of covid-19.
From the project perspective:
The ability to reach more beneficiaries with the Audio-visual approach
The technology contributed to faster adoption since the demonstrations in the videos featured fellow farmers who directly speak in dialects/languages they understand but more importantly, they can trace and that helped with the trust building
Women also benefit from training as it is done in the night after they might up finish with household chores.
The system is portable and easy to use; no sophisticated screen required, just ordinary walls (of a mosque or school sometimes) covered with ordinary white cloth and you have a giant cinema in the community
“The system’s ability to combine entertainment and education has made it a very complete extension tool for all category of audience. As you can see, this is why our WASH program have invested massively in this technology”
Philip Atim | Project Leader / CRS - Tamale
“I can see for myself the methods of technology application and the results of them especially with tree nursery establishment. This has greatly helped me to adopt the technologies.”
Elizabeth Kwabena| Community Based Advisor & Project beneficiary