Rana Labs Video Production Workshops October - November 2017
Around the world, farmers are incorporating new biological control products into their Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy and are seeing encouraging results. While chemical products can be the right solution in certain circumstances, they can also be harmful to our health and to the soil. Furthermore, pests can develop resistance to chemicals which can be harmful to crop production and to the livelihood of smallholder farmers in particular.
In the Western Highlands of Guatemala, the AgriJoven project is providing highly technical workshops with youth in the agricultural sector to learn about IPM and new biological technologies that can benefit their crops. Mercy Corps has successfully organized over 40 groups of youth into Youth Savings and Loan Associations (YSLAs) where youth participants learn about new agricultural technologies and invest together with the goal of improving their own crop production. As an additional resource, youth learn about mobile filmmaking to document their learning process by working with Rana Labs, a media production company, to produce videos focused on explaining the technical content of the workshops to a wider audience.
In a recent workshop, youth learned about the benefits of biological control for foliage illnesses in potatoes and tomatoes as well as for soil disinfection. After a presentation by Mercy Corps technical staff and a discussion about application techniques and other topics, the youth then set out to make storyboards to produce videos on a variety of products. Youth then recorded their interviews to describe the benefits of the products, their application and expected results. Combined with their narration, youth recorded scenes of proper application of the products on soil fungi, bacteria, stem disease, parasites and other common pests. The final scenes described how the use of biological products allows us to have better roots to achieve more rigorous and productive crops and soil.
To date, Rana Labs has completed nine mobile filmmaking workshops with youth throughout the Western Highlands. Each video, told by youth for youth, is a helpful set of tools that will improve the crop production quality and therefore livelihoods of the Western Highlands of Guatemala and the region. Our goal is to inspire a new generation of storytellers by using mobile filmmaking as a transformational tool for extension.