Library supports farmer-to-farmer learning

Kachumbala Area Cooperative Enterprise, Uganda

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Farmers examine their plants in the fields.
KACE’s innovative service helps farmers share knowledge and experience. Here a group of farmers examine plants on a farm in Kachumbala.

Community need

KACE Community Library works with farming communities in Kachumbala in Bukedea district (Eastern  Uganda) and promotes agro-ecology, a farming method that takes into account culture, traditions and the need to maintain and restore eco-systems. KACE organizes regular farmer-to-farmer exchange visits. However, the visits are expensive, and many farmers are excluded. KACE’s ‘farmer-to-farmer’ information project solves this problem.

The innovative service

During exchange visits, KACE staff observed some farmers taking photographs, and saw an opportunity to involve farmers in creating learning resources. With support from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) in 2012, KACE bought digital voice recorders and cameras, a desktop computer to make documentaries, and a projector and screen. In less than a year, the ‘farmer-to-farmer’ information service trained 30 farmers to use the digital voice recorders and cameras to document sustainable farming practices and to share information with their peers.

KACE’s two main partners were Kachumbala Sub-county Local Government, who helped mobilize farmers, and the agricultural extension service, National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS), which provides agricultural knowledge and support.

eifl-plip project timeline

May 2012 - April 2013.

achievements and Impact

The service deepened the library’s relationship with 15 farmers’ cooperatives in the district. Farmers created locally relevant learning materials in local languages, which are now available in the library.

In 2013, KACE received a grant from an international non-governmental organization to expand the service to include further information and communication technology skills and business training.

 

additional resources

Read a two-page case study about the project.

More public libraries improving farmers' lives

Read about more innovative public library services for farmers. PLIP-AGRICULTURE

By creating visual learning resources, this library is helping our farmers try new farming techniques. In the community, seeing is believing!
Yakobo Okalebo, chairman of the Kolir Sub-county Farmer’s Forum