Skilling Ugandan Farmers to Overcome Systemic Constraints Using Digital Technology
Farmers and Cooperatives from Yumbe and Nebbi districts in northern Uganda benefitted from training in utilization and management of the ‘UgFarmer’ application: a digital platform developed by Mezzanine with systems configuration data provided by ICCO. The aim of this project called ‘Connected Farmer’ is to empower over 12,000 smallholder farmers in the West Nile region with digital solutions to systemic challenges along agricultural value chains.
The trainees were equipped with skills as Digital Village Agents (DVAs) to profile and validate farmers and other value chain actors who will use the platform. They also learnt how to support platform users in navigating the site to access digital agricultural services ranging from farm inputs, credit, insurance, harvesting aggregation storage, knowledge and transport logistics to contracting with off takers. As a result, 12 input dealerships were successfully registered onto the platform.
48 DVAs trained were provided with smartphones, training guides on farmer registration, value chain addition and order management to facilitate effective work. They were also mandated to become the farmers’ direct link to agro input dealerships and cooperatives that work directly or hand in hand with smallholder farmers in the region.
With support from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) through Nilecom in Uganda, Mezzanine and ICCO through the Connected Farmer project aim to foster growth of the local digital ecosystem. This enables excluded groups in the agricultural sector to become more active participants in the economy and improve livelihoods.