Updated May 07, 2020

Digital Integration to Amplify Agricultural Extension

https://www.digitalgreen.org/ethiopia/

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The consortium of locally-produced video, radio, interactive voice response and human-mediated facilitation to disseminate information about good agricultural practices and tools and technologies developed to improve smallholder farmer productivity and environmental outcomes.

People are most open to information when it comes from sources and contexts with which they can identify. No less is true in Ethiopia, where USAID and a consortium of partners led by Digital Green—Awaaz.De, Dimagi and Farm Radio International—are using locally produced video, radio, interactive voice response and mobile data collection combined with traditional extension workers to spread infor...
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People are most open to information when it comes from sources and contexts with which they can identify. No less is true in Ethiopia, where USAID and a consortium of partners led by Digital Green—Awaaz.De, Dimagi and Farm Radio International—are using locally produced video, radio, interactive voice response and mobile data collection combined with traditional extension workers to spread information about new agricultural technologies and best practices to smallholder farmers. Nearly one third of the farmers reached have adopted at least one new practice-40 percent of whom are female farmers.
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Focus Areas:

Agriculture and Digital Development

Agriculture and Digital DevelopmentSEE LESS

Problem

Over 80% of Ethiopia’s population of about 80 million live in rural areas, with most households subsisting primarily on agriculture to make ends meet. Despite the importance of agriculture to Ethiopia’s economy, yields for smallholder farmers remain significantly low, primarily due to limited adoption of irrigation practices, improved seed varieties and fertilizer. Although Ethiopia has a sizable agricultural extension workforce, traditionally it has been driven by supply.

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Solution

Producing localized messages for the ATA’s IVR platform – which hosts a library of audio messages – and creating a two-way, question-and-answer functionality provided farmers with answers to questions on SSTP priority crops and inputs, reduced travel time for extension staff and alerted zonal-level managers to localized crop and pest conditions.

Target Beneficiaries

The project reached nearly one million farmers with information about SSTP technologies and related good agricultural practices. Women represent more than one-third of the total number of farmers reached and total proportion of adopters of the new technologies.

Mission and Vision

Digital Green worked in partnership with the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Agriculture Transformation Agency (ATA) to institutionalize the use of ICT-enabled services to boost the reach, efficiency and effectiveness of the national extension structure.

Competitive Advantage

The project takes a collaborative and innovative approach in applying relevant, localized digital content to improve existing agricultural extension practices in close partnership with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and regional bureaus of agriculture. The consortium utilizes the strengths of each member to integrate multiple open source digital platforms that reinforce and complement the extension messages. Rigorous data collection, monitoring and learning continuously improve service delivery and inform decision making

Milestone