Using Mobile Technologies to Empower Rural Farmers Facing Climate Change in Tanzania.
Using Mobile Technologies to Empower Rural FarmersFacing Climate Change in Tanzania.Eugenio Tisselli, Juanita Schlaepfer-Miller, Angelika HilbeckUniversity of Plymouth, UK.Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland.
Farmer-led Research:“Since response to climate change is variable from place to place wecannot make overarching recommendations. The best approach is aparticipatory one.” (Jones et al., 2005)"Incorporating indigenous knowledge can add value to thedevelopment of sustainable climate change mitigation and adaptationstrategies that are rich in local content, and planned in conjunctionwith local people." (Nyong et al., 2007)
There is a growing need to gather local data andobservations related to the effects of climatechange.
The local effects of climate change can be variedand unexpected, and need to be taken into accountin the design of adaptation strategies.Subsistence farmers are particularly vulnerable toeffects such as drought, pests and plant diseases.
A holistic view of Food production in agricultural science: Source: IAASTD/Ketill Berger, UNEP/GRID-Arendal “Under conditions of changing climate and economic uncertainty, it will be important to include sciences outside the conventional agricultural domain ... Using local and traditional knowledge as well as advanced sciences across a broad field of disciplines can facilitate multifunctional approaches to agriculture that benefit small- scale producers.” IAASTD, “Towards Multifunctional Agriculture for Social, Environmental and Economic Sustainability”, 2007.
Sauti ya wakulima, “The voice of the farmers” http://sautiyawakulima.net
Ten farmers share two available smartphones todocument the effects of climate change and publishtheir observations on the Internet.
“We have faced a lot of challenges including absence ofautumn rains, something which has made us to have onlyone croping season (long rain season only) while as coastregions we used to have two cropping seasons in a year.”
Appropriation: farmers redefine the research goalsand start using the phones to engage in a processof mutual learning.
- “What do you advice your fellow farmers and the government ingeneral with respect to climate change?”- “For the government, they should put an irrigation system thatwill help farmers to water their plants in dry season or buld somewell where they can easily get water for that purpose. To myfellow farmers, when it is too dry they should think of plantingthose crops which can tolerate droughts like cassava, sweetpotatoes etc.”
Advertising, Creativity, Evidence, Knowledge, Needs,SocializingNetworked communication tools for the creation of anonline, shared audiovisual community memory.
Empowerment: on August, 2012, the farmersreceived a grant from the local government todocument an agricultural fair in Morogoro.
What the farmers at Chambezi had to say about the project:“The project is about Education and Learning, Trade and Business,and it is a fluid and remote way to communicate with extensionofficers. It is an easy way to communicate.”“Very few farmers know about the Internet, and there is a need toprovide more training and resources.”“The project brought more cohesion to the group.”“The project helped me learn that phones can be used for otherthings besides calling people, and that computers can also be usedto solve problems: they are not just a fancy thing for the rich peoplein towns.”“Farmers have a lot of things to say, but no means to talk aboutthem.”
How the farmers at Chambezi would improve the project:“By having more phones and more participants. We also need moretraining on how to use these tools.”“This project is very valuable, it cant be limited only to us, it has toextend to other farmers.”“Include people from different areas, so we can learn from thosewho are far away, doing different things.”“How can we get feedback when we report a problem?”
Sauti ya wakulima / The voice of the farmers.The farmers: Abdallah Jumanne, Mwinyimvua Mohamedi, Fatuma Ngomero, RehemaMaganga, Haeshi Shabani, Renada Msaki, Hamisi Rajabu, Ali Isha Salum, Imani Mlooka, SinaRafaelGroup coordinator / extension officer: Mr. Hamza S. SuleymanScientific advisors: Dr. Angelika Hilbeck (ETHZ), Dr. Flora Ismail (UDSM)Programming: Eugenio Tisselli, Lluís GómezTranslation: Cecilia LeweriGraphic design: Joana Moll, Eugenio TisselliProject by: Eugenio Tisselli, Angelika Hilbeck, Juanita Schläpfer-MillerSponsored by: The North-South Center, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology - ZürichWith the support of: The Department of Botany, University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM)