Smallholders benefitting from digitized agriculture
SciDevNet opines that the use of ICT tools is helping smallholders access farm inputs and increase yields. The article reviews a project in Uganda that is using ICTs to empower smallholder farmers.
The situation: A major problem that has been confronting the two Ugandan smallholders – who epitomise the struggles of many in Sub-Saharan Africa – is the lack of adequate information on best farming practices such as when and how to plant that could lead to increased productively, more income from their produce and better livelihoods. But a project in Uganda that uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) in agriculture is transforming the livelihoods of smallholders.
How the project works: The project has agents who profile willing farmers into the service using mobile phones. The agents visit smallholder farmers at their homes and farms and take their details including -names, members of the family, type of crops they grow and their historical yields. After being enrolled, farmers can then receive preseason messages on their mobile phones.
Some of the challenges and benefits
- Illiteracy amongst the farmers
- Lack of collateral to access loans
- ICTs has allowed farmers to access the services
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