My Experience: 157 Participants from More Than 11 Countries Benefit from “Pass-it-on” Training of FAO’s “Farm Data Management, Sharing and Services for Agriculture Development” Online Course

Through this guest blog post, learn how Olusegun Oloruntobi, Manager at MoreMeatMoreMilk Initiative for Development and a participant from the “Farm  Data Management, Sharing and Services for Agriculture Development” online course was able to take knowledge learned during this course and in turn, do “pass-it-on” training benefiting more than 157 participants from throughout Africa:

Of a truth, simple change makes a big impact. My experience began on a warm afternoon in October, 2019; when I received an email from FAO. The mail, though brief, was quite exciting. The Agricultural Information Management Standards (AIMS) team had accepted me to the online course: “Farm Data Management, Sharing and Services for Agriculture Development.”

Though my passion for learning new agricultural techniques/subjects is exceptional, this Farm Data Management course was a “dream come true” for me as I began to look forward to the classes.

The Farm Data Management, Sharing and Services for Agriculture Development course focused on strengthening the skills of professionals who use and manage data for the benefit of farmers and farmers’ organizations. It explores the importance of data in the agriculture value chain and how new and existing technologies, products and services can leverage farm level and global data to improve yield, reduce loss, add value and increase profitability and resilience.

The course was delivered for four (4) weeks with weekly assessments, videos, webinar, e-books, several forum discussions and a graded exam. The sessions were well facilitated by Ilkay Holt, Sara Ferrante and other experts.

Upon completion of the course, as my usual practice, I saw the need to pass the knowledge acquired to passionate colleagues within my network of agricultural practitioners and enthusiasts. I immediately leveraged mobile technology in launching and disseminating a Pass-It-On Training and before long entries rolled in.

I delivered the training via a closed Whatsapp group. Only interested participants were admitted to the group via a link.

The Pass-It-On Training lasted about Four (4) weeks and was delivered to 157 participants drawn from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, Benin Republic, Cameron, Togo, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, United Kingdom, Somalia, Sudan, Niger Republic and so on.

I posted that I successfully participated in the course and displayed my certificate on Facebook and LinkedIn with a brief of knowledge acquired. Then I requested that I will be willing to do a Pass-It-On Training for interested participants.

Within 24 hours I received over 70 expressions of interest. From there, I then created a Whatsapp group and shared the link to everyone that expressed their interest in the Pass-It-On Training, and also posted the link on Facebook and LinkedIn with a deadline.

I ensured strict rules were in place to instill decorum in the Whatsapp group. The link to the group was revoked the day the training commenced to avoid distractions.

The training was delivered just as I was taught with the same materials and as guided by the course outline. I extracted content from the materials and delivered the contents according to the course outline and further backed up the contents with simplified explanations. I also forwarded the materials to the participants via their emails at the end of the training.

I did not conduct the exact course quizzes for the units and did not conduct an exam because I do not have access to the quiz questions anymore, however I subjected the participants to questions as related to the units delivered and facilitated feedback sessions to respond to their questions.

So far, feedback from the participants has been tremendous and the impact has been remarkable. New participants are already asking for onsite and extra online sessions on the same course. Some of the participants said:

"Before now, I have been seeking for opportunities to educate myself in data science and management in Agriculture. This training answered my prayer in a good way. Thanks so much for sharing this opportunity and knowledge and I hope you would be able to share more knowledge and development centered opportunities with me, sir." - Femi Adekoya, MSc Student, Integrated Pest Management Department, Harper Adams University, United Kingdom

"This training is really helpful, I appreciate your help it was a wonderful lecture. Thanks." - Bolis Olwak, technician, department of Agric. Economics at Upper Nile University, South Sudan

"Thank you so much for this lecture, this information showed so many opportunities to explore in agriculture." - Iyanda Olatunde, Nigeria

"Thanks a lot for the information shared. Feel refreshed and getting back to the drawing board." - Gbadamosi D. A, Head of Ops (Nigeria), Landburg Radgivning Company

"Great presentation... I am finding it so instructive and useful." - Soji Adegbie, Nigeria

As for me, this experience has been fantastic, making an impact remains an inseparable part of me and I look forward to being part of other courses/projects so I can impact more people in Africa. I would like to do Onsite Pass-It-On Training in Ghana, Benin Republic, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria before December 2020.



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