By Smart Farmer
Kenyan women and young farmers will benefit from a partnership between the African Centre for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT) and CABI.
The two signed an MoU earlier this month that enables them to work together to enhance access and the use of digital resources to ensure sustainable agricultural production and food security.
This agreement comes against the backdrop of emerging synergies from the Digital Agriculture for Accelerated and Inclusive Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery efforts in Laikipia County. It is a programme funded by the UK Government and jointly implemented by in-country partners.
According to Mr Henry Mibei, the CABI Digital Development Manager, the partnership brings each organisation’s unique core skills and experiences directly to the farmer to ease access to key information for the smallholders.
“The collaboration will achieve impact in the Kenyan agricultural digital landscape at the field level. It will facilitate access to key information through user friendly digital platforms, such as the CABI BioProtection Portal and ACWICT bundled service platform,’’ he said.
For her part, ACWICT Executive Director, Constantine Obuya said both organisations were embarking on digital literacy programmes for farmers and youth and exploring gender-sensitive digital content.
“This will include opportunities to develop relevant digital agricultural content aligned to the priority information needs identified as farmers’ pain points for inclusion into the ACWICT bundled service agricultural platform,’’ she said.
The two organisations are also considering jointly providing access and encouraging the use of agricultural content through their user-friendly digital platforms, such as the ACWICT-led Maudhui Digiti (Digital Content) project, where CABI’s expertise in creating knowledge portals, gender-sensitive, farmer facing agricultural content will come in handy for the farmers.
Today, digital tools are increasingly becoming popular as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has not only distorted the movement of farm produce, but has also changed how farmers trade.
Digital innovations continue to remove physical trading barriers and provide digital platforms directly connecting farmers to online markets for competitive returns on their yields.
ACWICT is a Kenya-based ICT for Development (ICT 4D) organisation with a regional reach, whose mission is to promote women and youth access to and knowledge of ICT for sustainable development.
It focuses on high potential but disadvantaged women and youth by providing solutions that improve their access to employment, education, health and other opportunities for better livelihoods.