SciDev.Net brings attention to Digital Green, a project that uses digital video to disseminate information to small and marginal farmers in India. Recently, Digital Green won the culture category in the Stockholm Challenge Awards. According to its website, the project originated from Microsoft’s research team in India. Working with GREEN Foundation, the project is explained by the following:
The system includes a digital video database, which is produced by farmers and experts. The content within this repository is of various types, and sequencing enables farmers to progressively become better farmers. Content is produced and distributed over a hub and spokes-based architecture in which farmers are motivated and trained by the recorded experiences of local peers and extension staff. In contrast to traditional extension systems, we follow two important principles: (1) cost realism, essential if we are to scale the system up to a significant number of villages and farmers; and (2) building systems that solve end-to-end agricultural issues with interactivity that develops relationships between people and content.
Essentially, the project is a way to spread useful information to even illiterate farmers, using networks that they can trust (i.e. other villages, farmers in similar situations). The short documentary below further explains Digital Green’s work.