Farmers in coastal Bangladesh often struggle to make ends meet, because cropping is hampered by poor water control in the polders both at the community level and at sluice level. To improve water control, community-based Water Management Groups (WMGs) are essential.
MetaMeta in partnership with the international NGO Access Agriculture and local NGO JJS have launched the ‘Accelerating Horizontal Learning in Bangladesh Polders’ project to help unlock the high potential of agriculture in coastal areas using ICT tools through the WMGs, champion farmers and experienced extension workers. This project which is just starting is funded by the Blue Gold Innovation Fund and will last for eighteen months.
The use of systematic interventions to support, strengthen and build upon horizontal learning systems by using basic ICT are relatively rare. This proposed innovative project will boost the spread of good agricultural practices through Water Management Groups using ICT as a force multiplier.
With more and better-quality information available, farmers will be able to take collective action and be better equipped to improve their productivity, identify business opportunities, link with input suppliers, and boost their incomes.
It is expected that this innovative project, covering ten polders in southwest Bangladesh, will strengthen and accelerate agricultural learning by:
- training WMGs to produce short videos to capture and disseminate good practices;
- setting up a Horizontal Learning Platform to facilitate the dissemination; and
- organizing competitions as incentives for farmers to join the process.
As part of this project, the Agtube video platform will serve as a repository of the locally produced videos and an active social media exchange platform to facilitate farmer-to-farmer learning during the project.
After the project is over, this platform will remain as an asset that will form the basis of subsequent interventions related to Horizontal Learning in Bangladesh and beyond.
Picture credit: MetaMeta