Rainforest Alliance Farmer Training App is a platform designed to deliver training material to farmers, connect farmers into peer-sharing networks and promote sustainable agricultural practices. It is designed for offline use among farmers with limited reading proficiency and technical skills.
SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 2: Zero Hunger
Target Users (Target Impact Group)
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
The Rainforest Alliance, Dimagi
Software development: The Rainforest Alliance team partnered with software developer Dimagi to incorporate its Commcare platform for the initial pilot-testing in Guatemala. Commcare is an open-source mobile data collection platform for building mobile apps. The platform was co-designed with community members. A series of workshops and needs assessment revealed low literacy levels and the need for offline functionality.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
The first step in gaining access to the app is to email Rainforest Alliance or a field liaison to be set up with a username and password. Priority is given to certificate holders and those preparing for certification. To learn if they qualify, farmers need to contact FarmerAppHelp@ra.org.
Distributions to Date Status
Piloted among 600 Guatemalan farmers with a potential to reach more than 1.3 million farmers around the world trained in sustainable farming methods
The app is designed as an offline resource, so farmers can access important content to help them better prepare for the impacts of climate change without the need for internet connectivity. Training materials were designed to match the skill levels of the intended users, and software that was not reliant on cost-prohibitive data packages. Monthly tracking allows the project team to enhance the user experience through updating design features according to use patterns.
Field support on the functionality of the app and continuous training are provided by regional liaison staff in person or by phone. Liaisons can also consult an email-based helpdesk for additional technical support. A final layer of technical support is provided through the Commcare software provider, Dimagi.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
Activity indicators: • number of mobile users registered • number of times app was opened by users in a period of surveillance • time spent active on the platform • number of weekly/monthly viewings • number of mobile users viewing announcements from the Rainforest Alliance Training indicators • number of producers receiving training • geographic regions of producers receiving training • local farm group associations of all producers receiving training • contact information of training facilitators • number of producers receiving training, disaggregated by gender • number of certified farms making improvements on continuous improvement criteria
Vetted Performance Status
At the end of the pilot, the team noted an increase in farmer awareness about the Rainforest Alliance and an increase in knowledge about sustainable best practices through personal stories shared by pilot farmers. Women who participated in the pilot also felt particularly empowered as the project gave them access to information that they might not have been able to access freely through the regular channels of information on the farm.
Complementary Technical Systems
Academic Research and References
Compliance with regulations
For the Guatemala pilot of the Rainforest Alliance Farmer Training App, evaluation efforts focused primarily on program-wide monitoring, with plans to enhance evaluation efforts as the project expands. Program-wide monitoring includes data collection on basic indicators reflecting project inputs, demographic information, and project reach.