Issue 14: Agricultural extension
Africa: Arid Lands Information Network – East Africa (ALIN-EA)
Arid Lands Information Network tm East Africa (ALIN-EA) is a network of community development workers (CDWs) and extension staff (government and NGO) who are committed to dryland development. In partnership with the WorldSpace Foundation, digital satellite broadcasting technology is used to disseminate information to remote areas via the AfriStar satellites and simple radios. ALIN gives ICT training to CDWs so that they can educate people in their areas about new water-saving technologies that can increase crop yields. In collaboration with the Intermediate Technology Development Group (UK) and DFID, ALIN is assessing the potential benefits of satellite radio for isolated rural communities in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The extension staff and CDWs interviewed said they had accessed a wide range of information and shared it with local communities, but that the system has a number of disadvantages tm the information is often too technical, the equipment is prohibitively expensive, and the one-way transmission prohibits effective feedback.