Agricultural extension messages using video on portable devices increased knowledge about seed selection, storage and handling among smallholder potato farmers in southwestern Uganda
This article in the PLOS ONE Journal demonstrates that showing agricultural extension messages significantly increased farmers’ knowledge of recommended practices on seed selection, storage and handling. The video messages were delivered through Android tablets to a sample of potato farmers in southwestern Uganda. This research suggests that videos should be crop and context specific, featuring model farmers to maximize the potential of videos to leverage knowledge farmers already possess but may not be confident enough to use. Results suggested impact pathways that went beyond simply replicating what was shown in the video. Video messages may have triggered a process of abstraction, whereby farmers applied insights gained in one context to a different context. The findings from this study suggest that videos are likely to become an indispensable part of the agricultural extension tool kit, sometimes replacing, but in most cases complementing traditional extension services. This is especially important because agricultural extension information, with its public, non-rival nature, is generally undersupplied, and public provision remains challenging.