ABUJA, 27 January 2023– As part of the Integrated Community-led Network of Hope (ICON2) project activities, the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has trained over 600 extension workers on the use of the ICON 2 Commcare app across 10 northern states in Nigeria. The 13-day training commenced on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, and ended on Friday, February 27, 2023. The training was designed to equip participants with the necessary operational skills needed to enable farmers carry out accurate input distribution
The ICON-2 Commcare app is a software as a service (SaaS) hosted on the CommCare platform which helps organizations achieve their monitoring and evaluation goals. This innovative project management software was designed to track and manage the implementation of WOFAN’s project efforts among the farmers in their respective regions, which would in turn help the management make informed decisions. The software’s functionalities include the collection of farmers’ bio-data through farmer registration, field mapping, input distribution, and surveys. It allows users to create data collection forms, track project progress, and generate reports and dashboards to easily view project performance. It also enables users to monitor project implementation in real-time and make changes as needed. In addition, the ICON 2 Commcare software provides advanced mobile features such as offline data collection, case management, and automated reminders to ensure that project progress is tracked accurately.
Participants received instructions on areas such as best communication practices with farmers, customer service, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. Additionally, the training included interactive activities, such as role-playing and team-building exercises, to help participants gain a better understanding of the software. They were also issued tablets configured to contain the Commcare app, as well as power banks to allow for extended use.
Miss Biem Ruth, a participant from the Federal Capital Territory, said, “the tablets we were given today would be a great tool for creating a database of farmers, which would help us to better understand the needs of the farmers, target areas for improvement, and ensure that farmers in each state have access to the resources they need.”
“The intended impact of this training is to build a strong relationship between the extension workers and the farmers, increase the accuracy of data related to farmlands through geo-mapping, aid farmers carry out accurate input distribution, create a well-trained group of advisors to help the farmers, and enable WOFAN to efficiently and effectively measure and evaluate their projects live,” said Hajia Salamatu Garba, WOFAN’s Executive Director and Country Director of the ICON 2 Project.
“Additionally, this training will help farmers gain a better understanding of the latest advancements in agricultural technology and better equip them to make informed decisions about their farms,” she said.
The ICON 2 project is funded by the Mastercard Foundation to support 675,000 youths, across 10 Nigerian states over 5 years to develop and maintain sustainable livelihoods and have an improved quality of life, in line with the Mastercard Foundation’s bold Young Africa Works-Nigeria (2021-2030) strategy to enable 10 million youth in Nigeria, (7 million young women) to secure dignified and fulfilling employment.
The Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) is a Nigerian non-governmental organization established to improve and promote the economic, social, and political empowerment of rural women and youth in Nigeria.
About Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work.