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  • Writer's pictureSovanpidor Ham

The iCamp event helps agricultural institutions resolve their challenges in assisting farmers.

Updated: May 22, 2023

Published on Feb 15, 2017

January 25th, 2017 - InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia (iLab SEA), funded by The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), conducted its InSTEDD iCamp (also known as Innovation Camp) to assist a dozen civil society agriculture organizations in improving farming production in Cambodia.

The InSTEDD iCamp is a one-day rapid prototyping workshop designed to provide an opportunity for agricultural development actors to discuss their work challenges, propose solutions, and validate ideas with real farmers.

During the iCamp event, participants were grouped with the iLab team, who helped identify the challenges related to farming production. Seven development organizations and companies presented their challenges, and the top 5 ideas were discussed in groups to find solutions.

The top farming production challenges, determined through voting, were as follows:

  1. How to improve the irrigation system.

  2. How to help farmers find a market for their products with reasonable prices and high-quality products.

  3. How to provide localized weather forecasts.

  4. Farming systems for disabled farmers.

  5. Promoting quality seeds for farmers to use and improve paddy for export

To understand the challenges and generate ideas, each group was guided by experienced facilitators, including human-centered design (HCD) practitioner Akira Morita, AGILE Development Director Ian Jones, and the iLab SEA team. The participants went through a process to define their proposed challenges, generate ideas, and design prototypes. They actively engaged in discussions to find the best solutions and had the opportunity to validate their ideas with farmers.

Proposed Farming Solutions:

  1. How to improve the irrigation system: The team proposed building a dam for the community to help farmers access water.

  2. How to help farmers find a market for their products with reasonable prices and high-quality products: Training farmers on subjects such as financial literacy, water management, and vocational skills would help them understand how to grow and sell their crops with high quality.

  3. How to provide localized weather forecasts: Farmers can stay updated on the weather by using their phones to provide weekly updates and receive voice-recorded education. Accurate weather data collected from various sources would be simplified, recorded, and distributed through recorded messages to low-tech phones. Farmers would be willing to pay 2000 Riel per month for this service.

  4. Farming systems for disabled farmers: The team designed attachment tools that could connect to prosthetic arms, enabling users to perform various farm-related mechanical tasks.

  5. Promoting quality seeds for farmers to improve paddy for export: Create a Facebook page to provide specific information about seed quality and provide immediate responses to questions.

At the conclusion of the iCamp, InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia scheduled additional appointments with individual institutions to continue project development discussions. They encouraged participants interested in addressing these challenges to meet, discuss, and incubate projects together to meet the current and future needs of local farmers. InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia looks forward to involving all relevant stakeholders in the next iCamp event.



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