The Nature Conservancy VR Platform

VR Learning Platform for Guatemalan Farmers

The Alliance

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is an international non-profit organization, focused on environmental conservation and protection to achieve a more sustainable future.

Xennial Digital is a leading eXtended Reality (XR) company, focused on helping educational and corporate institutions develop highly immersive and results-driven learning experiences through VR and Mixed Reality.

The organizations have joined forces to create a VR training platform that will help farmers in the highlands of Guatemala create a more sustainable economic environment for their families, by learning to create irrigation systems for their corn, bean and squash crops, through the capture of rainwater.

 

 

 

 

The Challenge

– Climate change has created an area called the Dry Corridor in the Highlands of Guatemala
– Instead of raining 6 months of the year as in the past, now these lands get only 3 months of rain
– Farmers need enough water to irrigate their crops during the entire year (corn, beans and squash)
– The majority of the farmers are illiterate
– They learn how to work their lands from their parents and grandparents by “watching, listening and doing”
– The main challenge we faced was how to create a training platform that would simulate exactly the way the farmers learn, in order to help them accumulate enough water to irrigate their crops during the entire year

 

 

 

 

The Mission

– Rethink training for farmers
– Make it simple, but impactful
– Make it mobile + offline for training in remote areas

The Solution

– Using the XDVR Learning Platform as a base, we developed a VR training platform with content that is delivered through an Oculus Go-based VR Lab
– The VR training modules simulate a familiar environment for the farmers, where crops fields similar to the ones they work on were recreated
– The VR Lab is mobile providing the capability to transport it to different community centers where the farmers attend the training sessions
– A physical instructor shows the farmers how to use the VR equipment and training modules
– Once inside the modules, a virtual trainer guides them step-by-step (through voice) on how to create different irrigation systems through the capture of rainwater
– Oculus Go was the selected platform because of its durability, cost-efficient solution and ease of use

 

 

 

 

Next Steps

– The official launch of the platform will be July 15-17 in the highlands of Guatemala
– Three additional Mayan languages will be added (Mam, Cachiquel and Quechua)
– Capture analytics/metrics to showcase the learning impact of this new methodology
– Add training modules for coffee growers and fruit farmers

 

 

 

 

“By using Virtual Reality (VR) solutions from Xennial Digital, now we have the possibility to take an important qualitative step to train vegetable farmers from the Guatemalan Highlands, as well as farmers throughout the country. This technology enables us to overcome language, distance, connectivity and poverty barriers that used to limit us from providing technical assistance to these small producers.

Our first goal with this innovative training methodology, is to create a positive impact on the productivity of 15,000 small farmers during the first year, while reducing productivity loss and increasing vegetable production, in order to increase the farmers’ income, food safety and resilience of their lands.”

– Jorge Cardona, Gerente Proyecto Resilient Central America ResCA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STUDIO: Xennial Digital

VR, Training July 15, 2019 by Alvin Manalac