POTENTIALS Of AMISPROJECT-CAMEROON
WHO WE ARE
AMIS-CAMEROON is a non governmental organisation located in Limbe. At AMIS-CAMEROON, we render services to farmers and consumers by sending SMS text messages to their mobile phones. This approach bridges existing digital divides,enhances the communication needs of the poor,and empowers them with decision making capabilities that improve the quality of their lives.At AMIS-CAMEROON, we collaborate with a broad range of people who make our services to the rural populations and farmers achievable.
First we have agricultural technicians whom we consult regularly on issues relating to farming and agriculture. These are trained graduates from University of Agronomical research. They provide us with the necessary updates on modern farming techniques and best practices which we relay to the farmers via SMS. We have already organized some meetings between these experts and the farming communities. The one challenge we face here is the lack of means to motivate these agricultural experts to use their own resources to come and give practical learning lessons to farming communities.
Then we have ICT personnel and software developers in our team. In the absence of our own ICT facilities, they comb the web on the look out for cheap and alternative means of delivering SMS to farmers and consumers. Our ambition in this regard is to enable them develop a software that will facilitate a two way communication with our ever growing communinity of farmers. They are also responsible for updating information on our website that shall be launched shortly at www.amis-cameroon.org
Our dedicated volunteers come from secondary schools and the farming communities where our activities are centred. These volunteers visit the farmers frequently and sensitize them about our project .When these farmers are convinced of the merits of the project, our volunteers manually record their mobile phone numbers and bring them back to us to register in our databases. In addition to informing farmers of our activities, farmers also give details of the types of crops they cultivate. All these are logged into our database for future reference when prospective consumers request such.
The food processing engineers are a great source of support to the farmers.They provide information on effective food handling and preservation. They carry out food tests for quality, signs of poisoning and teach farmers to harvest on demand (HOD) as against harvesting and stocking (HAS). Just like the Agric technicians, they need motivation to continually meet with the farmers and give them training sessions on food preservation.
The Technology we posses now in terms of a digital camera and a video camera are used to record sessions with farmers that we meet on the field. The shared experiences across farming communities has attracted a lot of acclaim and the requests to bring more of such on a regular basis is mounting. While the SMS are meant to address immediate problems and inform them on trends as they happen daily, we wish we could have regular meetings with the farmers and show them images and videos of activities carried by farmers in other communities.