Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

A holistic approach to understanding ICT implementation challenges in rural advisory services: lessons from using farmer learning videos

Gouroubera, Moumounia , Okry, Idrissoua (2023) A holistic approach to understanding ICT implementation challenges in rural advisory services: lessons from using farmer learning videos  THE JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION AND EXTENSION, # 21 p.

This paper examines the challenges of implementing Farmer Learning Videos (FLV) in Rural Advisory Services (RAS) through a holistic approach. The study focuses on a clear theoretical and managerial question – how do RAS manage FLV that does not easily fit into traditional models? 

Design/methodology/approach: The research collected data through semi-structured interviews (138 respondents) and focus group discussions (342 participants) in 30 RAS.

Findings: The study shows that although most of the RAS provided poor support and did not write FLV in their project documents, many are increasingly using FLV. Extension workers see FLV as a way to efficiently and effectively achieve their goals – a helpful tool that could reduce workload. Moreover, the presence of FLV champions who are generally young and the high level of positive attitude toward FLV as well as collaboration with other organizations favor the increasing use of FLV. 

Practical implications: The results of this study can be used by policymakers and RAS to improve the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) into their work. 

Theoretical implications: This study sheds more light on the importance of a holistic approach to thoroughly understand the challenges of FLV implementation in RAS with theoretical implications for their design, implementation, and analysis. 

Originality: This study reports the first known application of a holistic approach to understanding the challenges of FLV implementation in RAS in Benin.


The use of digital technologies by RAS requires a more holistic approach to analyzing emerging challenges rather than just focusing on individual constructs or considering them only as a tool to disseminate agricultural information. (p. 3)

With FLV, less energy is expended to make farmers understand the main information during training. This idea was expressed by 98% of RAS. (...) The FLV spread covered multiple themes such as sustainable farming, cattle, integrated pest management, fruit and nuts, vegetables, legumes, processing, beekeeping and the environment. The variety of topics motivates farmers to express their needs. FLV responds to the emerging needs of farmers. (p. 9)

Organizations have yet to develop a more robust mechanism to support extension workers in FLV usage. For example, although there is a need to train users about new tools such as using FLV, they typically do not train them on how to successfully screen FLV in rural areas. There is no systematic process adopted by most organizations for FLV screening. A more cost-effective method of screening FLV is to use smartphones or laptops that the agents own as there is no budget to buy proper equipment. for it. (p. 12)

 FLV champions are generally young extension workers who have emerged informally within the RAS and motivate other extension workers to use FLV. They are skilled at dealing with ICT. Their role is facilitated by the positive FLV attitude within the RAS. (p. 14)

Psychic rewards, namely the intrinsic motivation to use FLV come from the positive farmer feedback they receive. This motivates most extension workers to use FLV even though financial incentives such as performance-related pay increases are known to be an important motivator.  (p. 15)

Researchers should attempt to unpack the informal system or the contextual factors that explain how FLV is being integrated within an organization. (p. 16)


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