Under GIZ’s Digital Agriculture Africa (DAA) program, AgriFin and its partners are developing Sprout, an Open Content for Agriculture Platform (OCAP) as well as Sprout Learning, a public good where agronomic content can be accessed and interacted with on a wide range of information related to agriculture best practices that can be used to build smallholder farmers’ capacity and resilience.
Under GIZ’s Digital Agriculture Africa (DAA) Program and the #SmartDevelopmentFund, Mercy Corps AgriFin, along with CoAmana and FSPN, were selected to develop a “Farm to Fork ” solution enabling and promoting zero contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by use of technology. As part of this DAA program, AgriFin is developing Sprout, the Open Content for Agriculture Platform, a public good where agronomic content can be accessed and interacted with on a wide range of information related to agriculture best practices that can be used to build smallholder farm capacity and resilience. This platform is administered and managed by the Kenyan Agriculture Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), who are tasked with restructuring agricultural and livestock research into a dynamic, innovative, responsive and well-coordinated system). This platform will leverage AgriFin’s experience working with over 150 smallholder farmer-focused partners to obtain and curate digital agriculture content.
An introduction to the OCAP followed by a panel discussion was recently presented on day 3 (Thursday, 29th April) of AgriFin’s Annual Learning Event (ALE). To watch the session, click here. To read more about the session background, click here.
For the pilot, AgriFin and partners are developing an OCAP minimum viable product that will be focus on four objectives:
- Identify partner needs and aggregate high-value content;
- Design/develop a strategy and pilot functional platform collect and share content;
- Test content with partners and farmers through the OCAP minimum viable product;
- Develop next phase platform & sustainability strategy.
The MVP focuses on testing a few key features and utilizing the SMS and WhatsApp for Business (WA4B) channels to distribute information to farmers. Moving forward, additional digital channels and features will be incorporated to increase the value offering for farmer facing organizations and farmers.
The success of the OCAP pilot is heavily dependent on the quality, format, type, and suitability of the content utilized by the platform. Partners who have been engaged about this initiative have shown interest in either contributing or obtaining access to agriculture and information content which could benefit their targeted farmers. The initial content for the OCAP will focus on general agriculture practices, climate smart information, financial inclusion and literacy content, mechanization, and emergency/pest advice, while also ensuring that all the content is farmer friendly, and supports digitization into SMS and WA4B before opening the content to multiple channel formats in the future.
As part of the long-term vision, AgriFin envisages this platform to be utilized as an agricultural information exchange or marketplace where agricultural content providers can upload and share agriculture information whilst content distributors identify the content that is a good fit for them and disseminate through their distribution channels.
The OCAP ultimately intends to act as a centralized and open platform agriculture content providers and content distributors can leverage to deliver, develop, and repurpose high quality content to smallholders.
To learn more about Sprout OCAP or Sprout Learning, or to enquire about participating in the platform, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sprout OCAP and Sprout Learning will be launched soon. Stay tuned and watch this space to keep informed about latest developments and launch dates!