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See detailWomen groups formed in response to public video screenings on rice processing in Benin
Zossou, Enangnon ULg; Van Mele, Paul; Vodouhe, Davo Simplice

in INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY (2010), 8(4), 270-277

When the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)1 introduced improved parboiling technology in Benin in 2006 through farmer-to-farmer video, it enhanced women’s creativity and motivation to parboil more and ... [more ▼]

When the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)1 introduced improved parboiling technology in Benin in 2006 through farmer-to-farmer video, it enhanced women’s creativity and motivation to parboil more and better the quality of rice. Their rice attracted more buyers and fetched a higher price which increased their profits and strengthened the women’s social cohesion. The video motivated women to start parboiling as a group and to express group-based requests for credit and training. However, newly established women’s groups in villages with strong negative experiences from the cotton sector did not last because of fear and mistrust. The video helped local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to improve their training methods and strengthened their relations with rural communities and between the women rice processors and input and output markets. Although these NGOs responded by facilitating access to micro-finance institutions, they were unwilling to provide credit to the groups because of past bad experiences. Instead, informal credit suppliers proved more responsive. Rice producers who attended the open-air video shows at the same time as the women rice processors became more willing to sell them rice on credit. We discuss the conditions and challenges of farmer-to-farmer video in creating organizational and institutional changes among service providers and rural entrepreneurs. [less ▲]

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See detailThe power of video to trigger innovation: rice processing in central Benin
Zossou, Enangnon ULg; Van Mele, Paul; Vodouhe, Davo Simplice et al

in INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY (2009), 7(2), 119-129

Understanding how to stimulate innovation among farmers and processors is crucial for attaining sustainable agriculture. To explore how farmer-to-farmer learning videos and training workshops changed ... [more ▼]

Understanding how to stimulate innovation among farmers and processors is crucial for attaining sustainable agriculture. To explore how farmer-to-farmer learning videos and training workshops changed women’s rice processing practices, we interviewed 200 women and 17 women’s groups in 20 villages in central Benin, including four villages which had received no intervention at all. Video on improved rice parboiling (a process whereby paddy is pre-cooked by steam without touching the water) had reached three times more women (74%) than hands-on training workshops organized by local NGOs and contributed to more equitable knowledge sharing within communities. In the villages where the NGOs had shown the video, 24% of the women started to use the improved parboiler equipment individually and 56% collectively within their group, compared to none in the control villages. About 92% of the women who attended both video and workshops developed creative solutions based on the idea of pre-cooking paddy with steam, compared to 72% for those who learned only through video. Fewer women innovated after learning through workshops only (19%) and after being informed by their peers (15%). Video watching also made women pay attention to reducing the loss of steam and to use local resources innovatively to conserve energy. More than 90% of the women who watched the video improved the quality of their parboiled rice, for example, by removing dirt, washing rice several times and drying rice on tarpaulins. Workshops stimulated innovations less than video did. Farmer-to-farmer video has great potential to enhance sustainable agriculture by encouraging local innovations. [less ▲]

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