Interesting piece in the Guardian on mobile more than voice. What I found most interesting was the emphasis placed by the Community Knowledge Worker on things other than communication, such as the reliable weather information and the cooperatization.
To register, a farmer must provide exhaustive details about his farm, household and income, as well as the things he needs most to improve his livelihood. Many in the area still wonder why Grameen isn’t providing them with physical aid, but Simon tells me he is working to change that mindset. “Let someone give you knowledge, then you are rich. That’s what I say to my farmers.”
Is the knowledge he receives from Grameen actually making a difference? Simon nods. “Especially this year. We were warned there was going to be a long drought so many of our farmers took their time before putting down their seeds. That was what happened and our farmers were able to save their seeds.”
Simon has also founded a farming collective and now, with Grameen’s help, they are bulking their produce and selling it at a good price to the World Food Programme, which will use it for relief work in the region. The CKW programme has had a rocky start in Gulu, and challenges lie ahead, but in the fields that Simon Obwoya monitors with his treasured smartphone, it is beginning to yield tangible results.