The Innovation Village, a startup ecosystem builder has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE) to support the digitization efforts of farmers under the Digital Doors Program.
According to Saul Weikama, the Lead Digital Economy Practice at Innovation Village, the MOU will see them digitize over 2.5 million farmers countrywide as part of their efforts to transform communities using information technology.
“The development of the digital economy is a critical stepping stone to job creation in the new future of work which requires access to the right skills and education for dignified jobs, connection to employers and marketplaces among the youth and women. For it to be viable, solutioning for the last mile user is critical to be able to make it not only inclusive but sustainable across the value chain,” said Weikama said.
“This partnership gives us the opportunity to digitize the agriculture sector but most importantly reach the last mile user in adopting the use of technology to operate in the digital economy. With UNFFE, we will work to address the challenges including digital literacy and lack of digital skills among farmers and provide access to reliable markets and financial services.”
According to a 2022 report on the ‘Status of digital agriculture in 47 Sub-Saharan African countries’ published by the (FAO), the digital Uganda vision that guides the country’s ICT development and implementation aims at empowering citizens and achieving “universal inclusion, sustainable development, economic progress and poverty eradication through digital innovation.”
The Innovation Village’s Weikama said farmers will be provided with a card with a chip that will ensure they have access to be able to access services.
“We will also create a network of 3000 agents who will be extending services to the farmers. This chip in the card will be speaking to a device held by the agents. This will not require internet or a farmer having a phone but it will have all information regarding services required. When the farmer has this card and meets an agent, they will be able to swipe it and access services. It is available offline and off grid,”Weikama said.
The UNFFE’s Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth Katungisa underscored the role of leveraging technology by farmers.
“With ICT, a farmer is able to know where extension services are, who to contact for a particular service be it quality inputs and after production , the market. The farmer is able to use an ICT platform to know what prices are and helps in decision making. This partnership will help farmers know the service providers and where they are,” Katungisa said.
“This partnership will make sure at least 2.5 million farmers who were not known will now be known. This means it will be easy for us as UNFFE to plan for these farmers but will also help us build our capacity in using digital tools and platforms to better serve farmers.”
Discussion about this post