Raising awareness of green technologies amidst COVID-19
International projects / 3 December 2020
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Senior Project Manager at Frankfurt School International Advisory Services
Sheryl is currently the International Communications & Knowledge Management Expert and Quality Assurance support under the GEFF Tajikistan Project, which aims to scale up private sector investment in high-performing green technologies in Tajikistan. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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Frankfurt School is the Project Consultant for the EBRD Green Economy Financing Facility in Tajikistan which provides finance, technical assistance and investment incentives to the private sector to contribute to the country’s transition to a green economy.

To reach out and build awareness of green technologies in the agricultural sector, our team of experts travels extensively throughout the country to interact with farmers and agri-enterprise owners. We organize activities such as Technology Workshops which is focused on expert knowledge sharing, hands-on demonstration and networking. This has been a proven model that effectively engages potential beneficiaries, especially in the rural regions.

Due to Covid-19 related mobility restrictions, face-to-face workshops were no longer possible. However, we wanted to continue building awareness and launched the Podcast and Radio Interview Series which successfully reached out to the Tajik agricultural community and had more than 9,700 engagements with existing and potential beneficiaries over a 3-month period.

Deputy Team Leader Usmonkul Boturov recording a radio interview

Podcasts & Radio Interviews

For the Podcast series, we aimed to highlight the benefits of investing in high performance technologies and measures that have a high potential of adoption. These technologies included agricultural machinery, modern greenhouses, cold storages, orchards located on a hill slope and water storage solutions. The podcasts were published via Facebook, Viber Messenger and also circulated to program vendors and partners.

For the Radio Interview series, we partnered with Tajik Radio Station Vatan (with a full country outreach of at least 4 million listeners) to introduce incipient and innovative technologies such as minimum tillage, intensive orchards, drip irrigation, innovative apricot drying and efficient dairy farming.

Interesting Observations & Lessons Learnt

  • Making the content interesting and relatable to farmers/agri-enterprises: We paid special attention to developing the content for each podcast and radio interview. Through our carefully selected speakers, which included agronomists, technology vendors and our expert team, the content was curated with a typical farmer’s needs and challenges in mind. For example, in our podcast on Agri-machinery – Tractors, our experts provided useful tips on how farmers could assess the efficiency of a tractor by themselves and the indicators that should be used. In the radio interview on ‘Intensive Orchards’, the agronomist discussed various types of intensive orchards with an analysis on its returns on investment. By being able to address the typical financial and technical concerns farmers have, we were able to get the agriculture community aware and more interested in making these green investments.
  • Adopting an interactive approach with the potential beneficiaries: The interactive component of the Podcast and Radio Interview series allowed us to have a conversation with potential beneficiaries even though no face-to-face contact was possible during this period. Farmers got back to us via Viber and Facebook with more detailed queries on the Podcasts, while listeners called in to Radio Vatan to request for more information. Our experts responded to these queries, which also allowed us to have a better understanding of the needs of the potential beneficiaries.

Scaling up investments in green technologies is possible through continuous awareness raising and outreach activities. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the team was able to develop unique ways to achieve our objective of keeping the wider Tajik community informed about green financing and its benefits which will support Tajikistan’s transition to a green economy.