April 24, 2023

WOFAN Equips Extension Workers with ICT Skills to Enhance Agricultural Productivity

WhatsApp Image 2023-04-24 at 3.33.04 PM

Abuja – The Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) has organized a two-day training and demonstration workshop focused on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in agriculture practices and climate change adaptation. Attendees were trained on the use of various ICT-led agricultural applications, including Survey123, the RiceAdvice app, and moisture meters.

The training which took place in Abuja, had participants drawn from FCT, Nasarawa, Benue, Southern Kaduna, and Adamawa states.

During the event, Yahaya Yusuf of Sane Konsult facilitated on the use of ArcGIS Survey123 application for farm mapping. He explained the objectives of the training, which aimed to equip the Extension Workers with the skills required for GIS Mapping, in addition to understanding the framework of the software for effective mapping of cooperative farms in the WOFAN-ICON 2 project ahead of input distribution.

Yahaya explained that the ArcGIS Survey123 is a tool used to collect data via mobile devices, both online/offline. “It uploads data securely for further analysis and visualization,” he said.

Hajia Marya Lawal, the ICON-2 FCT Team Lead, emphasized the need for proper storage with the right moisture content. She added that ICT-led agricultural practices are essential in this digital era and urged participants to ensure effective step-down to other extension workers and community partners.

Jatau Solomon, another facilitator, presented on RiceAdvice, an Android-based decision support tool for smallholder rice farmers. He explained that the software is designed to assist extension workers in advising farmers on good agronomy practices ahead of the farming season, which can improve the way farmers cultivate their lands and increase revenue generation. Solomon highlighted that the objective of RiceAdvice is to improve the livelihoods of smallholder rice farmers, increase their productivity, and sustainably integrate them into the rice value chain through tailor-made recommendations on nutrient management.

The RiceAdvice application helps farmers identify the best combination of fertilizers to use based on nutrient requirements and fertilizer prices, and helps farmers make better-informed decisions through specifically trained extension agents or service providers. The app is downloadable at no cost.

During the event, participants were provided with Android phones, moisture meters, and GPS devices to support and backup their data and farmers’ details.

The training event successfully equipped extension workers with essential skills to effectively use ICT-led agricultural applications and devices, further enabling them to communicate these technologies to farmers in their respective communities.