Afpedia Products For Sellers For Buyers Trade Shows Industrial Cluster

Online Translation

Sign In

Join Now



Nigeria:Leveraging digital tools for agricultural extension support

Leveraging digital tools for agricultural extension support

Image from Thenationonline

With the stringent physical distancing measures which could adversely impact the functioning agriculture extension systems, extension workers might find it challenging to move across villages and gather farmers for training or other capacity-building activities.

The restrictions on movement and the limited social interactions will strain livelihoods and the agricultural supply chain as access to inputs and extension support services by the already vulnerable farmers and their communities is interrupted.

While the pandemic presents many challenges, it also creates opportunities for digital tools to better serve farmers, as well as be adapted to assist public health responses and prepare for new agricultural needs that arise.

As government and other organisations are increasing the application of digital tools and introducing innovations to provide technical assistance to farmers from distance, it provides opportunities for farmers to take advantage of the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform devised to help the agricultural sector in Nigeria.

The platform which is compatible with basic feature and android phones, allows the target audiences to receive pre-recorded messages in realtime.

Deploying digital tools for Agricultural extension support

An international civil society organization, Solidaridad, who said it devised the IVR method to support agricultural extension in Nigeria and other West African countries amid the coronavirus, said it would increase access to agronomic and other production support information by farmers and communities that produce cocoa, oil palm and other food staples.

The Regional Director for Solidaridad in West Africa, Isaac Gyamfi, said the platform is an important part of a remote support approach that helps Solidaridad to quickly assess ground situations to generate response plans and interventions.

While noting that the organisation operating in five continents through eight Regional Expertise Centres, he explained that the platform would address the issue of restrictions on movement and limited social interactions.

“At this time when physical interactions are less desired, the IVR platform helps us to reach out to a large number of our programme beneficiaries quickly to share important information on COVID-19 protection protocols and to deliver other technical crop production content that aligns with the farming season and the cropping calendar”, he added.

Experience in the use of digital tools in virtual training of farmers

Speaking further on the use of IVR platform and other digital tools, Head of Digital Solutions of the Organisation, Ahmed Basit, explained that the organisation used the platform in 2019 to transmit messages on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to over 40,000 farmers, workers and producers under the Next Generation Cocoa Youth Programme (MASO).

According to him, “This was funded by the Mastercard Foundation, and the second phase of the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP II), was funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ghana”.

While explaining further that the tools are not new to Solidaridad In West Africa, Basit said they have been applied in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, where the organisation is promoting sustainable practices across the cocoa, gold and oil palm supply chains.

“We also deployed mobile data collection tools to profile 60,068 cocoa farmers, 19,627 oil palm farmers and 1,056 miners in the operational countries.

“The data is used to support the creation of markets for potential small and medium enterprises. It also serves as a baseline for current and future programmes whose impacts and outcomes would be tracked using the Interactive Voice Response platform.

Furthermore, he said with over 60,000 cocoa farmers already subscribing to the voice application platform, the organisation would continue to maintain contact with project beneficiaries during the pandemic.

“A total of 39,000 farmers are using the platform. The IVR platform provides Solidaridad and partners real-time feedback on farmers’ experiences, learning and practices for additional intervention where necessary,” he added.

Stepping up COVID-19 awareness in local communities

The Dutch-based organisation said since March 2020, it has used the IVR platform to sensitise 28,557 beneficiaries on the need to practice social distancing and other precautionary measures to prevent infection and contain the spread of the virus.

It noted that in Ghana, the awareness campaign messages, which were culled from national directives and the World Health Organization guidelines, were translated into Twi, a local language spoken by many of the communities where Solidaridad currently operates.

It said: ” In Sierra Leone, Solidaridad is supporting the government to step up public awareness on COVID-19. In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, through its District Health Management Teams.

“It has supported the production of relevant information, education, and communication materials for dissemination to over 20,000 farmers in 300 local communities in the country.

“Through its Gold programme in Ghana, the organisation has also embarked on a sensitisation campaign to educate eight Village Savings and Loans Associations, six project mines and mining communities on measures to control the spread of the virus”.

Other digital tools for sustainability

The organisation while reiterating its commitment to innovate in the use of a digital classroom and other virtual tools to train small and medium enterprises and other community facilitators who are engaged for data collection, said it is open to partnerships from development investors and foundations, as well as government ministries, departments and agencies.

“We welcome partnerships with development investors and foundations, as well as government ministries, departments and agencies to scale the use of digital innovations in support of vulnerable producers and enterprises to grow as the world adapt to the new reality of physical distancing.

It said with support from donors and partners such as Netherlands government, Mastercard Foundation (MCF), the European Union (EU), Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), World Bank, Henkel, Achmea, Mondelez International, and many other private sectors, it has been able to respond to the needs of beneficiaries at this critical time of COVID-19.

“Additionally, we are fast-tracking the development of a digital self-assessment tool for artisanal and small-scale gold miners to educate them on responsible mining practices.

“The organisation has so far profiled some 1,000 miners in Ghana for pilot use of a set of digital tools”, it said.

As an authority of media industry, we can provide you integrated brand communication on your products! Reasonable advertising prices will let you enjoy great over-valued service!”
Customized Service
Customized information such as product prices, company trends, market forecasts, price curves, etc. will help you fully grasp the latest trend!
Tailor-made, in-depth, professional research reports which will explore the business opportunities is your effective decision-making reference!
Professional and accurate trade data will help you break through the export bottleneck of products, track peer dynamics, and grasp industry trends!

Buyers Suppliers

Hot Search