Sproutings August 2022

August 24, 2022


Welcome to the second edition of Sproutings, our occasional newsletter about Sprout, the Open Content Agriculture Platform. We’re sending this to you, as a valued member of the Sprout Community, to share news, calls for partnerships, and more.    



Sprout Insider

Content Creation Journey
By  Irene Warui; Senior Sprout Project Officer

Sprout was conceptualized to offer an open marketplace for high quality content for farmer facing organizations (FFOs) to find high quality and farmer friendly content that can be adapted and used for their farmers. The Sprout team believes that every small-scale producer should have access to high quality, Up-to-date, farmer friendly advice and services that can help build their skills, resilience to shocks and income earning opportunities.

On Sprout, the content is made available in bite-sized digital formats (SMS, WhatsApp for Business and IVR) and in different languages. We currently have over 70 content datasets ranging from crops, livestock, climate smart to regenerative agriculture information. Additionally, Sprout also offers emerging technologies such as weather advisory, and is building other value-added capabilities for more deeper impact. 

I lead content acquisition and transformation for Sprout and here’s a brief and simplified overview about our content creation process.
  1. Assessing demand: Sprout works with partnering FFOs to understand the demand of relevant content through their direct touch points with farmers. Typically, an FFO will use a wide variety of content available on Sprout, and we also appreciate and encourage on-demand content requests and FFOs are encouraged to contact our teams for this. If the content can benefit other FFO’s as well, we include it on an active list for acquisition.
  2. Acquiring content: Once the content demands are solidified, we then work closely with our global network of Mercy Corps AgriFin's partners to acquire credible content on an ongoing basis for both specific and strategic content requests. Some of our partners include the Kenya Agriculture & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), the Ministry of Agriculture in Tanzania and Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA,) and CGIAR amongst others to get value chain fact sheets.
  3. Transforming the content: The Sprout content team then transforms the content into digital formats and contextualizes the content into farmer friendly terminology. It is also translated in required languages. The final files are available in specific formats that can be disseminated through multiple channels such as, SMS, WhatsApp for Business, and IVR. Additionally, in some instances, there is an iterative feedback process with the partners to ascertain the accuracy of the content before it is published for dissemination.
  4. Publishing the content on Sprout: After the transformation and translation process, the updated content is then uploaded back to Sprout for offering to other FFOs for wider reach and deeper impact.
Additionally, on the new & improved Sprout platform, content producing organizations can now update, publish, and maintain their content as needed. Almost all content on Sprout is licensed under "Attribution 4.0 International" which makes it free to share with simple attribution by the content user/FFO. If this gets you excited, contact us to join our eco-system or visit the Sprout platform here.

We're Sprouting New Partners
CGAPWi-Agri and Sprout are creating and testing content for Women in Cote d’Ivoire, laying the ground for Sprout’s Francophone impact.
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) is a global multi-donor partnership dedicated to advancing the lives of poor people, especially women, through financial inclusion. CGAP engaged Sprout and Wi-Agri to design, develop and test content developed in French to meet the needs of women farmers. Wi-Agri offers a wide variety of services to farmers digitally, including e-extension. Sprout  in collaboration with Wi-Agri, is developing gender focussed content for cashew, rain & water fed rice, and maize in SMS and voice formats. This content will be translated to local French. Through this partnership, we’ll be able to offer this content to other FFOs as well. Additionally, Wi-Agri is utilizing short climate smart agri videos on Sprout for its farmers. We’re very excited about this partnership as it enables Sprout to open its content for Francophone Africa.




Female and male content focus groups / Photos Courtesy of Wi-Agri.


How Many Seeds Have We Sown? 

Sprout is growing rapidly and has added 20 more value chains to the platform and sent more than 5+million messages out to farmers. Here’s a snapshot of our growing reach.


Sprout Tech Talk

We’ve made Sprout more user friendly

As of July, Sprout is easier to use! We’ve updated the Sprout infrastructure from DKAN to CKAN, the world’s largest open source data management system, that makes it easier to use for both content creators and FFOs. Specific improvements include:
  • Smart search based on inquiries.
  • Simplified Content Creator tools for uploading and managing access to content.
  • A foundation for APIs and dynamic content (coming soon).
Stop by and take a look here.

Exciting New Content is Taking Root 

We’ve added more exciting new content on the Sprout Platform

Sprout added 20 new value chains in the past month and published SMS content from the Ethiopian ATI. The value chains added include; bread wheat, durum wheat, chick pea, fava beans, malt barley, food barley, teff, tea, tobacco, lentils and coffee. Additionally, Sprout also partnered with Digicow to acquire audio content and scripts on the importance of Biogas, livestock insurance and dairy farm financing relevant for a wide variety of FFOs working at the nexus of agriculture and energy access.

Sprout in the Wild

Sprout has been out and about in events, learning and exploring solutions…

We’ll be launching Sprout formally on November 22nd, during Mercy Corps AgriFin's 6th Annual Learning Event. Event Registration Coming Soon...Watch this space for more details. 

The 6th ALE is a forum to share thoughts, strategies, and the emerging practices in the digital space towards addressing complex challenges faced by smallholder farmers exacerbated by the ongoing global issues. The event will consist of keynote speeches, presentations, launches, demonstrations, panel discussions, quizzes, raffles and a full day marketplace where great innovative solutions will be on display.
In other news, on March 9th, 2022 the MC AgriFin organized a session at the GIZ funded ICT4Ag event titled “Women in Agribusiness - how giving female farmers access to open and climate-smart agronomic content pays off”. The session was kicked off by Stewart Collis, Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and followed up by an overview of the Sprout Platform, by Elias Nure D-CSA and Sprout Platform lead at the MC AgriFin Program. It was a spirited discussion moderated by Hileena Eshetu Chole, Knowledge Sharing & Network Building Specialist of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and panellist included members of the following organizations: Mercy Corps AgriFin, KALRO, Food Security for Peace and Nutrition Africa, Shamba Shape Up Kenya, The Mediae Company, Agricultural Transformation Agency, and CoAmana, DigiCow Dairy. For more information or if you would like to watch the session, click HERE.

The session was a lively panel discussion from a wide range of partners that span multiple geographies across the public and private sector. During the session, it was noted that digital content acquisition is a time consuming process. Also, the discussions established the importance of creating gender intentional content for more inclusivity and impact. Women farmers face a wide range of gender-specific obstacles—such as lack of access to land, financing, markets, agricultural training and education, suitable working conditions, and equal treatment—put female farmers at a significant disadvantage before they ever plough a field or sow a seed. Innovative applications along the value chain have played a role to  help female farmers achieve higher agricultural yields, keep value creation local and build sustainable, climate-resilient food systems.

For this multifaceted challenge, one of the proposed solutions is the Sprout platform, an open data platform where a wide range of content can be consolidated and shared amongst partners before being distributed to smallholders, where they can use the information to build their capacity and become more resilient. During the session, participants shared their experiences on how digital open content platforms have helped address the gender disparity gap and support women with relevant climate smart and general agriculture best practice content. Some of the highlights include participants’ experience with content aggregation, dissemination and customization for targeted groups with a key focus on women small producers in the food system.

Let's Grow Together

Please reach out to us if you have questions at info@sproutopencontent.com or if you would like to be featured in an upcoming issue! Please share this newsletter freely and if you aren’t on this newsletter list, click here to sign up


The Sprout Team

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