Digital literacy and data solutions to improve agriculture in Rwanda

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), and the Ministry of ICT of Rwanda designed a collection of applications to provide farmers with data skills to promote informed decision-making. The four mobile applications developed by these organizations, will provide users with access to information about the state of the weather, amount of rain, soil humidity, livestock performance, climate change, and diseases of crops, among other things.

The program provides farmers with tools and digital literacy skills that empower them to enhance their working processes. For example, forecasts from the Rwanda Meteorology Agency may help farmers to decide which crops to grow depending on the climate conditions. According to Jacqueline Uwimana, farmer in Ngoma Sector, Rulindo District, “Access to relevant and timely weather or climate change information can help farmers make informed decisions on farming practices, which can protect us from losses.”

The program leverages the high penetration of mobile phones in Rwanda (80% of the population) to reach out to farmers. However, special attention will have to be placed in increasing digital literacy and data skills in order to maximize the benefits produced by the initiative.

Source: New Times