Scientists and farmers in Bangladesh
Engagement with farming families

Stakeholder Engagement and Knowledge Exchange

Knowledge created in this project will first and foremost benefit poor small scale farmers as it will enable them to make informed decisions relating to disease control and mitigation for protecting their crops and own livelihoods, improving their health and well-being. Researchers in India will be trained and participate in metagenomics sequence methods and analyses, and in the development of new technology for use on-farm. We will engage and train farmers involved in the project in accurate disease diagnostics and in the importance of managing the microbial-molecular aspect of pond aquaculture and host health. A bespoke phone app will be developed by partners at ARBAN in Bangladesh and Cefas in the UK. Cloud-based communication compatible with the app will be established for the purposes of receiving data from farmers, linking researchers and farmers to histoPATHway and other relevant training information and for overall data sharing, processing and analysis by the participating scientists.

Effective communication pathways will be established with farms for sample collection, information sharing on disease pathology, molecular analyses and to provide farmers with information on disease mitigation in real time. Regional workshops will be held to engage directly with the chosen farmers and their families to inform them on the objectives of the project and how they can benefit by learning new skills and changing practices/behaviours. These meetings will also provide training to farmers on using the apps and the project web portal, data entry, receiving information from the apps, and ensuring data quality management during the project period. We will actively encourage the participation of women from farming households and seek to place them at the centre of the communication networks. These networks will subsequently provide a forum for exchanging information to improve farm practice and training on advanced disease management practices.

The impacts of our project for small scale farmers on disease mitigation and crop enhancements will be undertaken adopting DFID's Livelihood Framework for assessing the impacts of agricultural technologies in developing countries.