Many paper work, brainstorming, User flow and proposal for data collection have been developed but actually community engagement is an integral part of the Edo AgriHub (EDAH) project hence the farmers at the grassroots must be carried along because that is where the food basket of the Nation is actually produced. It is true that Data resides in the farm and to access it, these farmers must be intimated with EDAH and the opportunities it presents to them hence a sensitisation exercise became imperative in their Local Government Area and in achieving this, we used an already exist medium of contacting these farmers via the Head of Service and Head of Department Agric Services in the Local Government Area (LGA). Firstly, these heads (HOS and HOD Agric) were carried along by the State ministry of Agric inviting them to the EDAH Standing committee meeting where they affirmed their support for the project and that resulted in the massive turn out of farmers at the LGA secretariat on the 14th of December.
The sensitization team took their turns in addressing the farmers in their local dialect on our approach to data collection, emphasizing their roles on this project and why they should participate. Farmers may be uneducated but are intelligent as we entertained questions and their perspective of an ideal data collection in their LGA. Some asked how is this survey different from previous surveys as its seen as duplication of effort, how are we to ensure that data are not manipulated and how do we ensure all farms are covered. Farmers listened with keen interest as we made them understand previous Agric surveys were not wholistic (encompassing) as they only have few fields of interest at that time which becomes irrelevant to other initiatives of research as most of such data are without Coordinates as the introduction of Technology makes it impossible for data to be manipulated with our dynamic data (multi-media and farm location data) requirement and well trained field staff noting that they need to assist field staff in reaching these farms as the data collection is a project otherwise tagged: “I am a farmer; Operation Show me your farm” and also assured them this project is in a continuous phase as we will build an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system to further collect data from farmers.
- Orhinomwon has 12 wards which comprises of 106 farm communities, villages and camps
- EDAH team needs to reach out to community, village and camp heads via letters and in person to sensitize, pre-empt them of data collection and solicit support of field staff upon arrival in their community village or camp.
- To collect data from a farmer, you must first behave like a farmer.
- Farmers believes in EDAH and look forward to its success and use as they are willing to contribute their quota.
The famers in their numbers chanted solidarity songs (NO farmer No Nation, No farmer No Food, No famer Hunger and Starvation everywhere) and promise to spread the good news of EDAH and look forward to the presence of the data collection team in their communities as well as the use of the EDAH platform when launched