PHASE THREE KICK OFF OF ICT4FARMERSPeter Ongom
Information and communication technology for farmers (ICT4FARMERS) is focused on enhancing ICT adaption, service delivery, content, and digital skills for smallholder farmers
ICT4FARMERS is mainly a three-phase project which involves the conceptualization, design, development, evaluation, and application of innovative ways to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) among smallholder farmers in Uganda to improve the uptake of digital tools and improve the agriculture value chain.
Recent studies revealed that agriculture employs over 70% of Uganda’s population of which the majority are youth and women in rural areas who are greatly affected by; climate change, weak digital skills, limited access to product knowledge along value chains, limited access to quality farm inputs, weak logistics systems, limited access to quality extension services, weak business intelligence and limited access to quality markets among others.
With funds from Uganda Communication Commission(UCC), Eight Tech Consults with experience in research services and developing and managing ICT innovations who are the systems developers and with UNFFE’S structure from village to National level developed different digital tools and advisory services for the smallholder farmers in Uganda. The team developed the E-Agriculture academy for content and training of agriculture courses, the toll-free call center supporting multiple local languages for farmer advisory and helpline, the DFA websites to promote the district farmers associations, ICT4farmers web and mobile app for better farm record management, better decision making, access to agro-input services and market.
The last two years (Phases 1 and 2) were mainly dealing with digital tools development, farmer training, mindset change, and digital skills development. Phase 3 kicks off to increase the uptake of the digital tools, improving the farmers’ skills through skills development programs and stakeholder engagements along the value chain.
In the picture is the project Manager CPA Baker Sekitto also the COO of Eight Tech Consults Ltd and Project Lead Dr. Dick Kamuganga the President of the Uganda National Farmers Federation receiving the contract for the 3rd Phase of the project at the Uganda Communication Commission from Mr. Beronda James, Manager RCDF Project.