A greater role for educational animation in extension?

Blog contributed by Nick Quist Nathaniels, Independent Consultant, Denmark

A freeze-frame animation showing a mouldy groundnut kernel © CCRP/ McKnight Foundation’
A freeze-frame from animation showing a mouldy groundnut kernel © CCRP/ McKnight Foundation

Computer animations are a rather special and exciting communication medium. For example, they can be used to illustrate the basic biology of pests and diseases and explain control measures. Animations are also an effective way to show changes that occur over a long time or at the landscape, watershed or even the global level. A combination of animation with spoken explanations can make such phenomena much easier to grasp. Being able to ‘see’ the phenomenon helps viewers imagine why individual or collaborative actions may be needed to address otherwise hidden problems. Continue reading

The seed social network

More varieties of cowpea seed give farmers more resilience against environmental extremes © IITA

A new study by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) looking at cowpea crop diversity following floods and drought in Mozambique has shown that seed sharing networks are a valuable way to maintain, and often improve, crop diversity. Informal sharing and trade of seed within and between local communities in the Limpopo River Valley, Mozambique has been specified as the reason for a relatively quick recovery of cowpea crop diversity following floods and drought in the area in 2000. The study showed that farmers who grew ‘relief seed’ distributed by humanitarian agencies, or bought seed from the market did not have much diversity in their cowpea crops. However, the farmers who exchanged seed as they had done before the disasters contributed the most to restoration of cowpea diversity in the area.
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