We knew that digital training was the way forward, but we did not know that this blended learning method would be so effective. Thanks to our cooperation with Learning Stone, we could rely on their experience and test that in the African setting. We add, for example, regionalised multi-media elements to the content to make the training very accessible and attractive (see links at the bottom of this newsletter). We have just concluded a survey among trainers and trainees which shows that over 80% of the farmers are actually implementing the material they've learned from the training, even 6 months after the training.
We are more than proud of these successes.
Now it is time to scale up. We have again won some tenders and projects, which shows that we can handle bigger numbers, work in other geographical areas (even abroad), and diversify to other crops and agricultural sectors. We will be working with CIAT on training on innovative grasses (climate-smart dairy farming and the reduction of methane output), we will scale up our project activities with FiBL on the introductions of organic farming, and we have penciled out an agreement with MESPT for a project on mango and avocado farming.
Ripple Effect (formerly ‘Send a Cow’) is developing a very ambitious 5-year plan and Yielder is included as a partner in this strategy. We are looking forward to intensifying activities with them. All these collaborations help us build the learning tree so that each farmer can pick a series of training that suits them best; starting with training on entrepreneurship and financial literacy for example, and systematically diverging into the exact specialisms that fit their needs.
All for the organic growth of the company… We will need to scale up to non-organic methods as well. This means that we are gradually developing more strategic partnerships. We are involved in longer-term thinking on how digital service providers can work together better, aligning the services and making it easier for farmers to log in only once and to use the full potential of their smartphones. We’re including digitally clever youth to convey the knowledge in the field too. (In earlier newsletters, we talked about Yielder's belief in the merits of trained youth in all development).
These ideas are ambitious. But crucial: without the proper use of digital tools, it will be very hard for any African country to tackle food challenges. Food safety remains poor, food security (let alone traceability) is a loooong haul, and post-harvest losses are ridiculously high. There is very little transparency in price structures and the entire agricultural risk is shouldered by farmers, and not by other players in the value chains: Biggest risk and smallest profit margins. Through proper cooperation and digitalization, these challenges can be addressed. And what is probably most important: ambitious Farmers with a development mindset can be taken by the hand and nudged towards sustainable growth. A very ambitious agenda for Yielder and we know that on our own we can only play a very small role in this. But we can be very instrumental in the partnerships we are developing to create long-lasting impact.
And don’t forget: money spent on training is never money wasted; keeping brains active, opening doors to relevant knowledge, and creating awareness for lifelong learning are key to any success.
Let's join forces....