Our Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) initiative, launched in Uganda in 2009, today serves more than 176,000 farmers in remote developing-world communities through a network of more than 1,100 peer advisors. The initiative combines mobile technology and human networks to help smallholder farmers get accurate, timely information to improve their businesses and livelihoods.
Unlike other agricultural programs, our services reach the most isolated rural villages by employing a network of local advisors drawn from the communities they serve. These Community Knowledge Workers—farmers themselves—are respected in their communities and chosen by their peers. Using smartphone applications, they give their fellow farmers information on weather and marketing prices and advice on caring for their crops and animals and treating pests and diseases. They encourage their peers in the ongoing use of the applications.
From its start in Uganda, the Community Knowledge Worker initiative has been expanded to Colombia, where Grameen Foundation is working with farmers in Tibú, Santander and Salgar, Antioquia; areas that were especially hard hit during that country’s internal conflicts.
In Ghana, we have also developed a Mobile Agriculture Education Application to give smallholder farmers weather updates and advice on caring for crops.