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Inventory of innovative African farmer advisory services

29 December 2008

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The inventory brought out for FARA, documents all the known innovative, ICT-enabled farmer advisory services or systems, being designed, implemented or recently completed in Africa.

Inventory of Innovative Farmer Advisory Services using ICTs

Authors: Mucemi Gakuru, Kristen Winters and Francois Stepman.

Publisher: The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), December 2008

In Africa, most farmers’ information needs are met either by extension workers, through libraries or via websites. Of late however, the number of extension workers has been going down while the number of farmers is growing. There is hence an emerging need for innovative information systems to address this gap.

Image credits: FARA

The Inventory of Innovative Farmer Advisory Services using ICTs was prepared in December 2008 for the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) by Mucemi Gakuru, Kristen Winters and Francois Stepman.

It is an attempt to document all of the known innovative farmer advisory services or systems, currently in design, in existence or recently completed in Africa.

Entries include projects using ICT solutions or implementing ICT-based activities, institutions/groups providing services using ICTs as well as ICT solutions software providers, both at the national and regional level.

While many of the entries are projects with a definitive beginning and end date providing one or two services, others are national or regional information systems providing many agricultural services using ICTs.

The inventory includes projects supported by the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Some of the projects are:

  • TV Koodo: Market price information system using web and national television in Burkina Faso

  • Ghana Agricultural Information network System (GAINS) in Ghana

  • ICT for Shea Butter Producers in Mali

  • CROMABU (Crops Marketing Bureau) Project in Tanzania

  • Rural Information System in Uganda

  • Integrating ICT for Quality Assurance and Marketing in Zambia

This inventory is focused on projects/services that provide agricultural training and information to farmers directly, through the use of ICTs, rather than documenting services that facilitate exchange of information among researchers and policymakers.

It also does not include the many research initiatives that exist to study the possible application of ICTs to agriculture or organizations or projects that focus on the development of linkages with input agencies, credit organizations and markets through the use of ICTs.

Source : IICD

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