EIFL’s Public Library Innovation Programme(PLIP) supports libraries to implement community development projects. In May 2010 PLIP supported with a grant the ‘Communicating Farmers’ service of the Panguipulli Public Library in Chile. Already after one year, the project booked remarkable results.
Farmers were not coming to the library
The Roads to the rural areas around Panguipulli (Chile) are poor and the climate is harsh. As a result, farming communities have lived in isolation with limited access to information about modern farming methods. Farmers were not coming to the library, and Panguipulli Public Library wanted to reach out to them. They saw a solution in ICT, including the Internet, radio and mobile phones.
Mobile laboratory with ICT travelling the Andes
With EIFL-PLIP support, the library equipped a mobile laboratory with ICT and travelled to the peaks and valleys of the Andes mountains to reach remote farming communities.
The library trained 201 farmers, mostly women, in online research and social networking skills. They also connected farmers to an online market, increased the library’s stocks of books and journals on agriculture, and hosted lectures on farming methods.
The library, working with partner agencies, also reached the farmers through local radio. Fifteen programmes on different farming topics were broadcast on a community radio station. In addition, the new service is testing the effectiveness of using mobile phones to reach farmers with news and information.
Strong platform to serve farmers
Future support for the project will come from the Municipality of Panguipulli, local government agriculture support agencies and non-governmental organizations. Panguipulli Public Library has built a strong platform to serve farmers.