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  • Sprout Open Content

June Newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of Sproutings, our occasional newsletter about Sprout, the Open Content Agriculture Platform. We’re sending this to you, as a valued member of the Sprout Community, to share news, calls for partnerships, and more.

Op-Ed by Elias Nure Digital Climate Smart Agriculture and Sprout Platform Lead

Sprout, is the open content and services agriculture platform & database where global agriculture experts and farmer-facing organizations meet to share and discover farmer-friendly, digital-ready content and services designed to build smallholder skills, resilience, and income-earning opportunities. Sprout is a project of Mercy Corps Agrifin. As the first quarter of 2022 has come to a close, the world has experienced an unprecedented set of events that are disrupting the agriculture sector. From the WorldBank’s expert Juergen Voegele, ”Even before the war in Ukraine, food insecurity around the world was rising. Ukraine and Russia account for 29% of global wheat exports and 62% of sunflower oil. This invasion is likely to exacerbate food price inflation in emerging markets and developing economies and impact some of the poorest and most vulnerable countries.” Add this to increasingly unpredictable weather and climate extremes, and now, more than ever, smallholders need access to reliable information to build their skills, resilience, and income-earning opportunities. Since Sprout soft-launched in September 2021, farmer-facing organizations (FFOs) using Sprout have shared high-quality digital messaging content on crops, livestock, climate-smart techniques, and financial literacy to millions of farmers. Over 2.8 M messages have been sent with 500k + farmers engaged on two-way platforms. We’ve got an exciting year ahead - by mid-year we expect to work with partners who collectively serve 20M farmers, we’ve got a major upgrade planned for the Sprout database platform making it easier to use, and we’ll be scaling up content for more countries and we’re designing a new Minimum Viable Product for smart farming services to be launched later in the year. Our key supporters in these efforts are GIZ and OKTA and of course, Mercy Corps Agrifin as Sprout is a project of Mercy Corps Agrifin. We hope you will join us on the journey!

Mediae shares a new climate-smart video series on Sprout to de-mystify climate-smart technique for farmers

Sprout now has high-quality video content on climate smart agriculture courtesy of The Mediae Company/Shamba Shape Up. The content outlines maize farming, dairy cattle rearing, agroforestry, soil & water management and financial inclusion video content in both English and Kiswahili. These videos are in short format and any of our partner organizations canchoose to download or embed the videos via YouTube. They can then share these videos with their farmer base as a way to address challenges of food security due to climate change. Mediae is reaching more farmers through the Shamba Shape Up TV program, which aired in mid-April.

Digicow is putting Sprout content to use every month

Breeding of the dairy cows is key for farmer productivity and profitability. Digicow, a product of Farmingtech, is part of the World Bank’s One Million Farmer Platform and is tasked with digitizing dairy farming across Kenya. Digicow immediately recognized the value in Sprout content for their Dairy farmers. Over the past 8 months, they have used a combination of SMS, Broadcast IVR, Facebook, and individual and group trainings to reach dairy farmers with content including how to detect heat signs and artificial insemination and financial literacy with a total reach of 2.5 million messages. Digicow, Sprout, and KALRO collaborated on acquiring and digitizing new artificial insemination content which wasn’t originally available in Sprout.

“Farmer needs was our greatest motivation to ask for the additional information on breeding. We also realized the content in sprout was very easy to use for both Digicow and farmers. This was after we used the Simplified SMS on financial literacy." ~ Annah, Communications Lead, Digicow

Feedback from farmers included:

  • A lot of questions on financial services and interest in opening savings accounts and credit services.

  • Calls to Digicow for insemination services, as the farmers are now understanding the shortcomings of using bulls for breeding.

But Digicow isn’t stopping here. Their next plans include ​​diversifying their trainings to various other topics that farmers are asking for, adding new dialects, and offering audio/video content.

Please reach out to us if you have questions at or if you would like to be featured in an upcoming issue! Please share this newsletter freely and if you aren’t on this newsletter list, click here to sign up

The Sprout Team

Strategic Partners


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