A sustainable future with digital resources
Whether it is receiving a text notification that it is time to harvest, or drones flying over the country collecting crop data, it’s all in a day’s work for the farmers who are members of CTA. The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation is an international organisation that works based on the principle that innovation is the key to utilising the full potential that agriculture has to offer. This, in turn, leads to an adequate food supply, employment opportunities and the development of stable economies for ACP countries (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States).
Engaging content partner
They are far from alone in needing this sort of development. The issue was one of how to spread this message among influential people in international politics; people who can assure the future of CTA. That’s why CTA sought out a collaboration with Dept, and we became an engaging content partner.
Enabling the local population to come up with their own ideas
FROM SATELLITE DATA TO PRACTICE
CTA thinks in terms of solutions that create employment opportunities, and promote economic development, innovation and progress for the long term. It all began in the 1980s with a range of publications containing agricultural tips, to the position today where the organisation invests in people and technology. CTA encourages technological developments such as the use of drones, precision agriculture and converting satellite data into tips for farmers who can receive information by text message on their phones. This could be advice recommending that it’s a good time to harvest the crops or to plant seeds a certain distance apart so that the harvest can be optimised later. CTA uses high-tech resources with the ultimate aim of enabling the local population to come up with their own ideas. It is CTA’s goal to reach two million farmers through its projects by 2020; however, this goal can only be achieved if the right people within the EU and the ACP countries are aware of its work.
Innovation, technology, sharing knowledge
Based on a number of intensive sessions with the people from CTA, Dept helped to formulate a key message; a number of rules as a reference point for all communication. This message expresses CTA’s mission and motivation to shape the future of agriculture through innovation, technology and knowledge sharing. All of which comes from the belief that agriculture is essential in order to guarantee the future for generations to come.
This message had to be reflected in all content, addressed to a very specific audience of lobbyists, ministers and diplomats. It was important to communicate the progressive ways in which CTA has an impact on developing countries.
Implementation & creativity
The main means of putting out this message was a video, for which a mixed team of people from CTA and Dept shot material during a field mission in Uganda. The idea was not to just create a standard corporate video but to choose a format that shows CTA’s impact in a cinematic way. During the planning, we also considered other available forms of media to reach the target group and increase the impact of the video. We, therefore, translated the positioning of CTA into all kinds of visual and other content such as photography, articles, a brochure and social media posts.
A qualitative deep dive helped us determine the shape of the video and establish the channels through which we could most effectively approach the target group. Consequently, the video was made in English and French in various lengths and for different platforms such as CTA website, YouTube and specific social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
The impact of CTA
Currently, 178,000 farmers receive digital support, digitally profiled through simple services such as a text message service, and smaller cooperatives are supported through investment in the use of drones. Over 500 mobile applications have now been developed with the help of CTA.
The MUIIS project, involving 230,000 farmers in cooperatives, serves as an example of the impact of CTA. Using drones, they fly over the land of all member farmers to collect crop data, which is then used for the production of healthy crops. This has resulted in harvest yields doubling.
Dept tried to think beyond just the requirements set out in the tender so that the internally determined positioning of CTA could be translated into concrete, multiform communication material. Where the requirement was only for video production, we developed a concept, strategy and multiple marketing tools to ensure that the final video production ended up being as effective as possible. This proved to be essential for an international organisation that depends on grants and whose work does not get much media exposure.
That this approach has delivered the right result is clear from the fact that the content developed has now been shared by influential individuals within the EU, the UN and the former Minister of Agriculture in Rwanda; a woman with a great deal of influence in the debate on African agriculture. All of these individuals have a great deal of political clout, and their support is vital in order to continue the work that CTA does.