Sunday, September 16, 2012

Community Video films as a tool for extension

The core investment in Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture (CMSA) is building the capacities of farmers in sustainable agriculture. Capacity building in CMSA is done through Farmer Field Schools (FFS), class room trainings, on field trainings. Currently CMSA is using posters, flexi sheets, flip charts, video films in training programs.  The feedback from the SHG members is that need to improve the content in video films and need to include local fields and sharing of experience of local farmers preferably from the same village. Further they requested to screening of more films and detailed films on each of the component.  To meet these requirements CMSA wing felt that community should train in making of films and technology for screening of films in the village with simple equipment. With this feedback CMSA wing of SERP has been scouting for organizations that can provide some help on this front. This is when Digital Green was contacted. 

Digital Green is an organization that uses information and communication technology to amplify the effectiveness of social efforts. They have piloted their ideas with NGOs in few states to improve the agriculture extension systems.  The uniqueness in the approach of Digital Green has been to include participatory process for local video production, tracking the the adoption rates regularly and take corrective measures and iteratively address the needs of the community with the involvement of the community.

Digital Green provided training on all aspects of film production right from story board development, content validation and improvement, film shooting, editing and screening of the videos. ToTs given by Digital Green in this regard followed by trainings to the resource persons.  Instruments like Pico Projectors will be used for screening the videos in villages.

Pilot is done with DG’s extension approach in 110 Mahila Kisan Sashatikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) villages of Mahabubnagar district.  Twenty two clusters were selected in 17 mandals with 5 villages in each cluster. 

Outcomes of the pilot:

Video films produced:
The videos produced have been accepted by farmers as the videos produced are in local language using local progressive farmers and the farming practices shown in the videos are locally relevant. This is an enabling factor for farmers to accept the videos and demand for such relevant new videos.

25 videos produced by the community resources under the technical guidance of digitalGREEN.  Content development and thematic support during production is provided by the Technical Consultants of CMSA.  Content is developed in the prescribed storyboard format by the VRPs under the supervision of DPMU.  The content of the films covered soil fertility management, non-pesticide management, 36X36 models and other important CMSA concepts.

Capacity building of community and staff:  

digitalGreen trained community video graphers and CMSA staff in order to integrate the digitalGREEN approach in the existing extension work that is being carried-out by CMSA-SERP.  During the pilot phase the extension team of CMSA from the 110 villages which includes 110 VAs, 22 CAs and DPMU team members are being trained on dissemination process. Apart from that 12 VRPs (Video Resource Persons) are trained on production on videos

Performance Indicators
Training modules
Operational villages
Videos produced
Video screenings



                             Training                                                    Production                                             Adoption



NPM practices as per the crop cycle has been developed and shared with SHGs which shall help farmers plan for the videos to be viewed thus helping themselves to be prepared for the necessary plan of action for application of NPM methods. 4,520 disseminations had done over a period of five months in 110 villages. 1562 SHGs are attending disseminations. Around 17,990 farmers viewed the films on CMSA methods. These disseminations helped in improving attendance of FFS and adoption rates of CMSA methods. 


Human mediated video screening enhanced the adoption rates. 14 CMSA methods were adopted by 2,822 farmers over a period of five months.

Farmer Feedback Mechanism:

An effective feedback mechanism is put in place in the form of COCO and Analytics which provides near real time data not only on disseminations, Adoptions but also on various questions and comments from the farmers. These comments and questions are monitored closely and feedback is given regularly by CMSA. This has helped farmers gain acceptance and trust and promoted adoption of NPM practices

Cost of extension:

The model has decreased the cost of field level expenses on training of the farmers through live demonstrations and field level trainings.  Since all the practices are captured through videos and shown on regularly intervals. The cost of training has reduced drastically and at the same time there is an increase of reach out to the farmers as well. As the PICO projector used for the dissemination is mobile and can be used at the convenient time of farmers.

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