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New toolkit helps programs use video to boost farmers’ productivity

December 03, 2012 —

FHI 360 has released a new toolkit for creating low-cost short videos that teach smallholder farmers how to increase their productivity and, ultimately, their earnings.

The toolkit, called Integrating Low-Cost Video Into Agricultural Development Projects, was developed by FHI 360's Fostering Agriculture Competitiveness Employing Information Communication Technologies (FACET) project. FACET, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, provides technical assistance to strengthen competitiveness and trade in the agriculture sector across sub-Saharan Africa.

Showing a video saves time and money — projects do not have to send an expert into the field. Plus, because people learn by hearing and seeing (think of cooking shows), videos can make agricultural extension services more effective. Videos can be shared widely on the Internet or shown at local farmers meetings. For example, an organization might use a $100 pocket camcorder to create a video about how to save plants from pests. A staff person could use a small handheld projector to show the video to the farmers at the meeting.

The FHI 360 toolkit is a starting place for practitioners who want to integrate videos into their work. It provides a framework on how to choose the right technology for the situation. The toolkit shows how to plan and produce a video that reaches the intended audience with the right information. It explains the best way to save files and display video online. The toolkit also shows how to track whether videos are having an impact.

Currently, the toolkit is available online at ictforag.org/video. Hard copies are available by request, but the supply is limited. For more information, contact Josh Woodard at jwoodard[at]fhi360.org.