Farmers’ Information NeedsInfo to make a decision = What can I grow on this soil, this year, where can I sell at what priceDoubt clearingIs my crop of the right quality? What is best quality Dynamic: It comprises information useful for decision making at a particular point of time. For example weather, market price, input availability etc. This information has to be hyper-localized, available in real-time and on demand. Dynamic information does not need much re-purposing or validation and has no or little archive value. It is most suited for remote delivery through mobile channels.Static: It relates to knowledge gaps in terms of modern farming practices, plant protection, animal health and production etc. These are static in nature, i.e. do not change frequently over time and do not need to be hyper-localized. However, this information needs to be re-purposed and validated before it can be disseminated. This information involves significant amount of learning from farmers’ side, as well as, expert assistance to clear doubts through help line and contact with field agents.
Content management process on m-Agriculture platforms
Content Management Process on m-Agriculture Platforms Pier Paolo Ficarelli - Knowledge Management Agriculture - Working Group Meeting Cape Town, 29th May, 2012
What some say about m-Agriculture• What is the use of delivering market information to a farmer with a phone, if there is no road to market the produce (IFAD, report 2003)• m-Agriculture is about tools, not about access and dissemination of agricultural information (FAO, Rome 2010)• We have farmer field schools for extension. Mobiles add no value to it. (CGIAR Researcher, Delhi, 2011)• Use of mobiles in rural areas is the last tactic for squeezing money at the bottom of the pyramid (GIZ staff, Delhi 2010)• Agro-Advisory on mobile: too much rubbish around (Mark Khan, Omnivore Venture Capital, 2012)• Adoption of a new agricultural practice requires a change of behaviour, not an SMS (a colleague of mine, last week) 2
Farmers Information NeedsInformation to make a decisionWhich crop should I grow this year?Where could I sell ? At what price?Where can I buy this product?Answers to a questionHow much drench should I give to my sheep?How much pesticide should I use for my crop?How much concentrate should I use for a cow that produces 5 liters of milk/daySolutions to a problemSomething is killing my crop!The milk of two of my dairy cows comes out yellow/red!What should I do? 3
Information System Impact Chain Source: Glendenning & Ficarelli, 2011The Info system comprises the processes, people and technology featuring inthe design of a given ICT platformThe impact chain describes the contextual factors determining the impact of theconveyance of a piece of information to users (design-reality check!)Relevance is defined as the combination of the functional linkages for users tomake use of the content delivered by the platformFeedback is the key feature to enable users to influence the Info system 4
Managing Content: Steps Source: Glendenning & Ficarelli, 2011• A step-by-step process• A time and resource intensive process, normally underestimated• Highly processed content to allow information to users/farmers needs and context to be customised• The cycle is shaped as an upward spiral 5
Managing Content: ChallengesInformation Needs AnalysisMainly Expert-to-Farmer Possible at scale? Farmer-to-Expert? Sample surveys useful?FormatLimitations of SMS & Voice messages for agro-advisory: Videos? Audio+ Icons?SourcingContent is dispersed and scattered: Agri-Google? Standards for congruity & authenticity ?AccessIdentified trend is towards close access of digital repositories: Regulations?LocalisationMainly based on outsiders’ knowledge and area criteria: Farmer knowledge?QualityIt is delegated to experts and relies on implicit knowledge: External validation?FeedbackClient satisfaction mainly anecdotal/based on sample surveys: Sufficient?“Infomediaries”Info-need articulation and advice translation require human facilitation: Viable? 6
Managing Content: Trade-offs UsabilityTimeliness for Partnerships forseasonal relevance content relevanceAlliances for Info-mediationcontent identification for local facilitationMulti-channels Linkages forfor offering choice input provision Content Impact Reach Quality Technology for real-time feedback TQM for trustworthiness Revenues for economic viability 7
Managing Content: Quality AssuranceA Local stakeholder/expert consultations, user feedback, focussed discussion with farmer organisationsB-C Verifiable sources, validated by authority, updated, generic/localisedD Re-purposed for users, Type/format congruence, Verified translationE Indexing metadata, Interoperability, SOPsF Cost- effective, timeliness, scalabilityNext Joint learning for continuous improvement Co-evolving content & applications in the social space of users 8
What Others may say about m-Agriculture The problem with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know many things that aint so Mark Twain
What do we know that is so in m-Agriculture? The Question What are the factors determining successful content management and delivery in m-Agri? The learning route 1. Sharing issues/obstacles/failures/successes 2. Turning issues/obstacles into Success Factors (SF) 3. Discussing the ingredients for each SF 4. Proposing promising recipes to be tried out in each SF The journey duration One hour and a bit The destination Let’s see how far can we travel!