Lucia Ntchela, a farmer from Mwanza in southern Malawi can now fully rely on the income from the chili farming to meet household expenses and to pay school fees for her children.
She no longer needs to look for income from other sources. But things have not been always rosy for Lucia. Like other farmers in her community, she struggled to produce chili and was selling at only 350 kwachas (0.50 USD) per kilogram, so she also needed to sell pigeon peas.
Life took a turn for the better when she learned all about chili production and processing by watching videos in her local language, Chichewa. She received Access Agriculture farmer-to-farmer videos on DVD from a farmer club in her community.
According to her: “Watching the actions in the videos is very simple for us farmers and because they are in our local language made it easy for us to hear and understand what is being taught and illustrated.” Now Lucia sells chili at 1000 kwacha (1.4 USD) per kilogram to traders at the local market.
Lucy’s success story is just one among countless others since the inception of Access Agriculture. Smallholder farmers like to learn from farmers in other countries who face the same problems. By translating quality agricultural training videos into local languages, the Access Agriculture video platform allows a much wider geographical spread and gives millions of farmers a quality learning experience in a true South-South approach.
To support its mission, Access Agriculture conducts training workshops in different parts of the world to build a global network of professional video translators. Translating the agricultural process is very challenging, but because of the engagement of people who have an extensive experience, knowledge and understanding of the agricultural process, national radio and TV journalists, made it possible to ensure well-scripted videos and the translations were done in conversational language. The training also ensures that the voices are delivered in the style of a farmer-to-farmer video and not a news report.
Not only that, throughout the process youth engagement is also being encouraged by inviting them to be part of this translation training and to contribute, and hence to develop entrepreneurship for video marketing and distribution to the extent possible in their community to ensure social participation and economic empowerment.
Through these efforts, Access Agriculture already hosts videos in seventy-five international and local languages. In May 2018, Access Agriculture held an intensive video translation workshop in Bangladesh. Some 14 participants joined to record Bangla voice-overs and edit the audio of fifty existing videos hosted on the Access Agriculture video platform.
The Bangla video versions are gradually being added to the video portal and will all be available by the end of June. This workshop experience provides Access Agriculture the confidence to repeat the same for any other country or language if a partner agency is interested to invest for such large-scale translation.
Picture credit: Special Videographer, Maasranga TV