From Smart Phones to Smart Farming: Indigenous Knowledge Sharing in Tanzania

Eugenio Tisselli | National Geographic | November 30, 2011

Many people believe communications technology helps the developing world by allowing people to link up with the ‘West’ and be given information and knowledge. It is often people in the developing world with the knowledge, and what technology can instead do is help them unlock that knowledge and share it with one another.

Eugenio Tisselli is a PhD student, teacher, artist and mobile technology project developer. In this latest “Mobile Message” he explains how mobile communications can help isolated communities create self-supporting knowledge-sharing networks. This is what Sauti ya wakulima, a group he initiated, have been doing in rural Tanzania. Whether it’s figuring out the best way to grow maize or tracking changing rain patterns, mobile phones and the Internet can help those who, in one of the farmer’s words, “have a lot of things to say, but no means where to talk about them”...