How technology is primed to transform farming in Rwanda
The NewTimes Newspaper in Rwanda reports the testing of mobile applications developed under the "Agricultural Services and Digital Inclusion in Rwanda" - which includes the four mobile applications - 'Cure and feed your livestock', 'eNtrifood', 'Weather and crop', and 'AgriMarketplace' developed in support of FAO.
The testing was done on Tuesday, 7th of November 2017 in Rulindo District, Northen Province in Rwanda. The purpose of the testing was to get the feedback of the technology based on the field farming practices or challenges they face in the farming process. This feedback will help improve the final application delivered.
It was reported that lack of access to relevant and timely weather or climate change information can help farmers make informed decisions on farming practices.
Some of the feedback cited during testing
- “There is lack of ready market. If we get it, we can get more income from our farm produce,” - Jacqueline Uwimana ( farmer in Ngoma Sector, Rulindo District)
- "If there will be less rains, farmers can grow crops with short maturity period. And, in case there is no rain predicted, farmers can grow crops but embrace irrigation" - Annonciata Muteteri, a forecast officer at Rwanda Meteorology Agency
- “The application will have database of veterinary services, including different types of diseases affecting livestock, and a farmer will be advised on how they can manage them. Also, we will register all contacts of all veterinarians, their pharmacies and where they are located to help the farmer connect with them more easily,” - Dr Isdor Gafarasi, the director of veterinary services at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB)
About the project
This news is a build on the FAO's work, along with several partners, in the implementation of ICT initiatives in Africa. Through the use of ICTs, farmers have more access to information on markets, weather and nutrition. The digital service project is part of FAO's Digital Strategy and is aimed at people in the field, local governments, community leaders and extension workers. The project aims to develop four apps designed to help farmers have better agricultural services and will be available in local content. The apps will first be launched in Senegal and Rwanda, but the project is designed to be adaptable to other countries as well. read more
Read more here