Environment

Digital Green

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and with operations around the world.

Website
https://www.digitalgreen.org/

Project Description

Digital Green is a global development organization that empowers smallholder farmers to lift themselves out of poverty by harnessing the collective power of technology and grassroots-level partnerships to amplify change at scale.

When farmers have the tools they need to learn from each other, they’re far more likely to integrate what they’ve learned into their farming practices – improving their own livelihoods, and those of others in their community, in a manner that’s nutrition-sensitive, climate-resilient and inclusive. This is why Digital Green believes in co-creating sustainable solutions that are of the community and for the community by joining forces with governments, private agencies, and, most importantly, rural communities themselves.

Digital Green works with smallholder farming communities across India and Ethiopia and other parts of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and has reached over 2.3 million farmers across 17,000 villages in 9 countries, primarily in India and Ethiopia, since 2008.

COVID-19 Response

Digital Green’s assets and capabilities uniquely position it to help mitigate the effects on COVID-19 on farming communities globally. Their proven approaches include developing customized and relevant content, strengthening digital behavior change communication, managing farmer feedback and data as well as improving market linkages and building extension system capacity.

COVID-19 threatens both the health and livelihoods of rural communities and has already been a large shock to smallholder farmers, disrupting traditional supply chains. With food supplies disrupted, widespread hunger is a growing concern. Changes to traditional markets and difficulty relying on informal traders have highlighted the need for a new digital marketplace infrastructure that enables lower transaction costs for buyers and sellers, and greater value capture for smallholder farmers.

Digital Green is addressing immediate economic effects of the pandemic in India and building the resilience of farming communities by using digital technologies to pivot from in-person extension and advisory services to delivery of advisory messages directly to farmers’ cell phones; and by connecting farmers to buyers directly via digital marketplace through which buyers can discover local produce, assess quality via photos, and purchase directly from farmers.

Digital Green reformatted its digital video library into short-form videos and audio messages deliverable via WhatsApp and is developing an AI chatbot to send those advisories directly to farmers in two languages (Hindi and Odiya). Farmers can interact with the chatbot using local language text-based input. Additionally, to increase its interactive functionality, they are adding speech recognition functions to the chatbot in these two local languages. This will help scale remote delivery of advisory information and enable efficient data collection from farmers with which to auto-populate the supplier directory. This is expected to deliver advisories to 200,000 farmers and enroll the same number in the digital marketplace supplier directory.

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