There we were doing our job, tweeting, streaming, blogging, recording, and everything in between when I wondered “… how does this, CWA 2016 look like outside of the fish bowl?”
We tend to be in our own bubble, our own structure, our own environment, a fish bowl for lack of a better term. In attending the Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA 2016) we entered a different environment aiming to share experiences and best practices for the benefit of the region’s agricultural sector.
However in the case of the social reporters of the CWA their task was not an easy one- to build this same environment online, live and direct, as it happens, bringing those who are unable to attend into the discussion.
So one would wonder, at that point in time, how well we were doing? Yes we have been tracking the event hashtag #cwa2016Cayman, however I wanted to hear from those who are most engaging, those who had been actively and visibly following our hashtag.
And so an interview with Nana Darko a multi faceted agri-specialist from Ghana, was born, taking place via email. From his responses we see what our work looked like from outside the fish bowl:
Keron: Can you give some background on your current projects related to food and agriculture?
Nana: I am an agriculturist with specialty in mechanization and animal science. I develop radio and TV programmes in the form of agricultural extension material.
I am currently working on an IVR – Interactive Voice Receiver for a radio station am affiliated to. This is a platform that allow callers to access stored information with their mobile phones by calling any of the systems mobile numbers.
They are given the opportunity to ask questions which are recorded, accessed and review by a technical officer. Companies and other stakeholders can advertise and make some money by sponsoring the project. Radio programmes can be listened to as a podcast as callers are offered the chance to choose from a variety of formats.
Keron: Why did you take interest in CWA 2016?
Nana: CWA 2016 caught my attention because I too am a trained member of CTA organized – trained social media reporters group. Secondly, I have never been to the Caribbean and my knowledge about their agriculture is almost zero. My inclusion to this year’s event affords me the chance to change this.
Keron: If CWA had social media reporting 5 years ago would you have been following then?
Nana: YES!!! I love agriculture and social media. It’s the best way to spread knowledge and at times meaningful discussion.
Keron: What are your thoughts on the social reporters? Are they efficient?
Nana: A great team you have. I read the Day 1 report and I was very impressed. The stats were super. (Even though it included the training days). YES, I think they are very efficient.
Keron: Have you had much exposure on Caribbean Agriculture?
Nana: NO!! Wish I can have that next year.
Keron: Now that you have had a insight into Caribbean agriculture, what are your thoughts?
Nana: Its amazing the role the Caribbean agriculture is playing in feeding the world. Some of your practices can be emulated and applied in my continent.
The blend is vital and the good agronomic activities employed by your farmers can be shared by the on-site reporters as they conduct interviews and share blog posts.
Nana clearly has an interested in agriculture of other parts of the world. Our social media team allowed him the possible to stay abreast in the Caribbean region’s activity without ever leaving his home the obvious benefit of social reporting.
I think it is safe to say our ‘bowl’ for CWA 2016 looks good!