Africa Soil Health Consortium benefits from Cornell University’s Agriknowledge project to reach a wider audience
Agriknowledge and the Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) have entered into a partnership that will increase access and utilization of ASHC materials beyond the project’s life.
Agriknowledge, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF) funded project managed by Cornell University is an online, publically available collection of information resources that includes reports, white papers, policy documents, technical papers among others. It aims to include agriculturally oriented relevant resources to improve the quality and quantity of materials available in its collection. According to Agriknowledge, they were “creating a critical mass of research from projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Agriknowledge” and had potential to assist ASHC increase dissemination of its materials to another audience.
When B&MGF first introduced Agriknowledge to the ASHC team, we were delighted at the prospect of partnership for increased visibility and dissemination of ASHC content. ASHC has all along had its defined target audience and has consistently sought to engage its partners and stakeholders in improving access to Integrated Soil Fertility Information (ISFM) information, yet there remains opportunities to broaden its reach.
The project has over the years built a robust repository of agricultural information materials currently standing at 400+ that were developed for varying stakeholder groups, covering over 5 cropping systems and targeting specific audiences. Comprehensive books incorporating technical ISFM content were developed for researchers and those keen to enhance their knowledge on ISFM; whereas a category of manuals were developed for a much more practical yet technical audience, keen on training on ISFM principles that are applicable and scalable in the field. ASHC additionally had information resources synthesized in easy-to-understand farmer friendly formats for farmers and their intermediaries.
With a continuous build up of these resources, ASHC embarked on vigorous dissemination efforts to ensure its information was accessible in order to bridge the gap crucial to realizing sustainable food security in sub-Saharan Africa. As the project evolved in its dissemination efforts however, it recognized the need to diversify channels through which its content was shared well beyond its initial scope.
Partnership with Agriknowledge provided the platform to further spread ASHC’s reach to an audience that we would otherwise not have been reached. We held conversations that sought to create an understanding of what was needed and the type of content to be published and after some deliberations, Agriknowledge published a number of ASHC materials that can be found at https://www.agriknowledge.org/.
This concerted effort has presented a number of benefits for ASHC and its affiliated projects. Firstly, linkages with Agriknowledge will ensure that the ASHC content remains available and accessible beyond the project’s lifetime. Secondly, linkages with this platform coupled with partner demand for ASHC content will ensure continuity and sustainability of the dissemination value beyond project life. This not only significantly increases ASHC dissemination but also strengthens credibility of ASHC information.
We hope to strengthen ties with Agriknowledge for further dissemination activities in the future.