Community Knowledge Workers: Taking Farmer Education to the Community
In traditional agricultural extension, a small number of heavily trained extension officers attempt to cover a large number of farmers, limiting the opportunities for each farmer to receive new agricultural knowledge. The Grameen Foundation’s Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) program reverses the traditional model by equipping a large number of lightly trained, respected community members with smartphones that can access a database of agricultural information. These CKWs then act as liaisons between their local community and new agricultural information. Since CKWs are invested in their community, they often take an active role in diagnosing their neighbors’ farming challenges and following up with farmers on the implementation of new agricultural practices. This poster describes how the CKW program combines new media and a community-based approach to promote thriving among marginalized farmers in rural Uganda.