During the official ceremony on October 4, Paul Van Mele and Jonas Wanvoeke received the award on behalf of Access Agriculture from Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation and Digital Agenda.
After presenting its innovative approach, products and services to a jury comprising 20 major actors main development players in Belgium, Partner in GFAR Access Agriculture was selected as the winner of ‘iStandOut’ category at the biannual Prize Digital for Development (D4D). Prize D4D rewards outstanding initiatives that use digitisation and new technologies as a lever for development towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Access Agriculture will invest the Prize of 10,000 Euro in its Young Entrepreneurs Challenge Fund that will be officially launched in January 2019 to support local entrepreneurs in the South to start a business around last mile delivery of farmer training videos.
The jury congratulated Access Agriculture on how effective its innovative approach and outstanding outreach has been. Rather than developing documentary videos for donors, Access Agriculture has encouraged the production, translation, distribution and use of farmer-to-farmer training videos to allow others across the South to learn from those few farmers who were fortunate to receive hands-on training.
Many farmers in developing countries can’t speak English, French or Spanish. Access Agriculture has trained local partners to translate videos into their own language. The step by step videos feature inspirational, empowered farmers providing practical advice in a format that others can easily learn from and experiment with sustainable agricultural technologies, natural resource management and food processing.
The Access Agriculture video platform (www.accessagriculture.org) hosts nearly 200 videos in 75 languages, all freely downloadable. Local language videos are distributed by development organisations, extension services, TV and rural radio stations, and farmer organisations on micro SD cards, DVDs, preloaded phones, tablets, USB sticks and smart projectors.
The innovative digital approach, technologies and partnerships used by Access Agriculture has enabled global access to quality training videos in local languages and has transformed the lives of millions of farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America
Prize D4D is a biennial initiative of the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGD) in collaboration with the Royal Museum of Central Africa (RMCA).
Earlier this year, GFAR commissioned a series of short videos in which farmers relate in their own words their challenges and successes as guardians of crop seed and the breeders of new varieties. The videos tell a vital story of why the living conservation and use of these irreplaceable resources are crucial, not just to the communities concerned, but to all our futures. To date, two videos have been produced by Partner in GFAR Agro-Insight with funding from the GFAR Secretariat. Access Agriculture has promoted the videos on its platform and shared them with farmers at local screenings to increase their knowledge and capacity.
Access the videos in multiple languages here:
Farmers' rights to seed: Experiences from Malawi