Towards sustainable vegetable growing with farmer learning videos in Benin

  • 31st January 2018
  • by secretary
24 January 2018.

Towards sustainable vegetable growing with farmer learning videos in Benin

Gérard C. Zoundji, Florent Okry, Simplice D. Vodouhê & Jeffery W. Bentley
Vegetable production plays an important role in nutrition, food security and poverty reduction in Benin. However, vegetable production is hampered by pests and farmers rely on pesticides to control them. Improving farmers’ knowledge is important for the use of sustainable, intensive agricultural practices.

This paper assesses the role of learning video in changing vegetable farmers’ behaviour towards sustainable agriculture. Drawing mainly on mass distribution of learning videos, DVDs entitled ‘Improving vegetable production’ were sold through non-conventional dissemination networks from August to December 2015, to strengthen farmers’ learning. In June 2016, researchers related to AccessAgriculture interviewed a sample of 120 buyers/viewers in four different areas where the DVDs were sold. The interviews were followed by a field visit to collect evidence of the change of practices reported during the interviews.

Results revealed that farmers who watched the videos enhanced their creativity and adapted the learning to their environment by using more sustainable agriculture practices. About 86% of respondents indicated that they now spend less money for pesticides to manage pests and diseases.

Video-mediated learning promotes local innovation, improves farmers’ knowledge and triggers agro-ecological practices with little or no input from the conventional extension system.

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