As one of the ACAI digital partners, ESOKO conducted TOT training for ACAI partners on how to use the ACAI mini projectors to train cassava farmers employing the use of the innovative video training KPLUS App. The goal is to build capacities of partners to effectively use those projectors to simplify the knowledge transfer on good agricultural practices to smallholder cassava growers in a quest to improve cassava productivity and increase household incomes.
AKILIMO offers a suite of tools and materials for cassava growers, extension workers, and organizations that promote improved cassava cultivation practices. The content is available in different formats -paper-based, charts, audio, SMS, chatbot, and video for ease of access and to make it more palatable to the smallholder farmer, increasing odds in the adoption of the technologies.
The training was held in September 2021 at KOLPING hotel in the Kagera region, Rock city hotel, and the CAPAFO offices in Mwanza, organized by the ACAI partners, KOPLING, TYDEG, and CAPAFO respectively, and facilitated by ESOKO. A total of 25 participants were trained, comprising the partner’s staff, DAICO, project managers, and extension agents.
An ESOKO expert, Margareth Mwandisi, led the three separate training sessions. The objective of the training was to re-allocate the mini-projectors to the partners in an effort to serve areas that were not covered by the video training previously and showed demand for the training. The technology training is key to supporting the great role ACAI partners have been playing in ensuring AKILIMO technologies are reaching a wider audience of cassava growers in all zones of Tanzania.
Partners concentrating on training
The addition of the KPLUS App -an essential component that was made available on the ACAI mini-projectors- will provide more enhanced content on the AKILIMO technologies as it combines text, diagrams, photographs, and videos in a user-friendly flow that emulates the step by step field agronomic practices i.e. Land preparation, seed selection, planting…. all the way to harvest and post-harvest recommended practices. All the farmer-friendly AKILIMO agronomic video recommendations on cassava production such as farm preparation, selection of improved cassava seed variety, fertilizer application, intercropping cassava with sweet potato, six steps to cassava weed management, and best planting practices were incorporated in the KPLUS App.
The video training through the mini-projectors is one of the most requested means of training sort by farmers due to its simplicity to understand, creativity, and innovativeness. The training was conducted as practical sessions to increase understanding. During training, partners expressed the benefits of using videos for training as they aligned with the demand side (farmer’s requests).
ACAI is a 5-year Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project in 5 countries in Africa (Nigeria, Tanzania, DRC, Ghana, and Kenya) aiming to increase the availability of appropriate and affordable technologies to sustainably improve short and long-term agricultural productivity in cassava in the target countries.