March 5, 2016

Farmers film their homegrown solutions

Katherine Snyder, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) Juliet Braslow, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

In an unused school classroom in the dry, dusty village of Sekoti, Ghana, 11 community members gathered to learn how to make a video.

Many of them had never even used a camera before, much less operated a microphone. Participatory video is an empowering and creative process that allows those who understand their local issues best to have a voice. It is a great tool for knowledge sharing and inclusive agricultural research for development at a community level.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on the Thrive Blog. It is cross-posted here with permission.

Community members gather around a video camera. Photo from Katherine Snyder/CIAT.

Community members gather around a video camera. Photo from Katherine Snyder/CIAT.

The International Center on Tropical Agriculture and its partners, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, University for Development Studies and the Association of Church-based Development NGOs have been carrying out a project on farmer-led ecosystem management for improved livelihoods, funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems. The project team decided that participatory video would be a good way to capture the views and voices of local community members about their landscapes. Over the course of a week, the group of 6 men and 5 women learned to film a video, from the very basics of assembling the equipment and shooting scenes, to conducting interviews, and finally, editing.

Deciding on the title “We Can”, the video team from the two communities of Damolgo and Sekoti produced a short video on the practices they feel are critical for maintaining their environment, improving their soils, and supporting their livelihoods.

Continue reading this story on the Thrive Blog

Katherine A. Snyder is a senior social scientist on policy, institutions, and gender at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Juliet Braslow is the Coordinator of the Soils Research Area at the International Center for Tropical Research (CIAT) based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Top photo from Paul Casey on Flickr.

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