Updated May 07, 2020

Smartcard IDs

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Smartcard IDs helped to facilitate a transformation of Northern Ghana’s agricultural sector in maize, rice, and soybean to achieve a greater degree of food security among the rural population in the north while increasing competitiveness in the domestic markets.

The project, implemented by ACDI/VOCA, adopted locally sourced smartcard ID technology to register training participants and store and track data, ensuring more accurate monitoring and greater community engagement. Smallholder farmers received smart ID cards with their photo, ID number and a chip that digitally captures and stores personal information and training participation. USAID and proje...
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The project, implemented by ACDI/VOCA, adopted locally sourced smartcard ID technology to register training participants and store and track data, ensuring more accurate monitoring and greater community engagement. Smallholder farmers received smart ID cards with their photo, ID number and a chip that digitally captures and stores personal information and training participation. USAID and project officers compiled this information into reports that show real-time results and enable more effective programming. To date, ADVANCE II has successfully tracked over 120,000 people who participated in 5,111 training sessions and increased the number of trainings tailored to female farmers, a previously underrepresented population in trainings.
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Focus Areas:

Agriculture and Digital Development

Agriculture and Digital DevelopmentSEE LESS

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Key Partner

Problem

Low literacy rates and the traditional use of family names without first names in northern Ghana made it difficult for USAID’s ADVANCE II project to use paper rosters to accurately monitor the attendance and effectiveness of their business and agricultural trainings. Moreover, without reliable data, the team had difficulty tracking the improvement of crop yields that were a result of the trainings

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Solution

Project interventions included technology and business trainings, mentorship programs, demonstrations of good agricultural practices, especially relating to climate-smart techniques, and networking initiatives. ADVANCE II has established a foundation for sustainable business partnerships, while addressing gaps and barriers along the value chain to ensure income growth for all value chain actors.

Target Beneficiaries

To help smallholder farmers access improved farming equipment and supplies, ADVANCE II provided matching grants to participants like Mary Anabila. In Mary’s community, men traditionally own farm equipment. In order to grow her crop aggregation business, Mary broke with tradition and raised enough money for a 30 percent down payment on a tractor. Through its grants program, ADVANCE II provided the remaining 70 percent.

Mission and Vision

ADVANCE II's outgrower business model, which supported a range of local value chain actors, equipped entrepreneurs with the skills and confidence to seek out profitable business relationships. We worked with the Ghanaian government and its Ministry of Food and Agriculture to build the capacity of local associations and networks to advocate for a favorable business environment as well as promote environmentally friendly technologies and approaches.

Competitive Advantage

Using smartcard technology, ADVANCE II’s digital solution fits into existing programs without requiring its recipients to develop new digital skills. Harnessing the impact of this low-tech tool, the project benefits from more timely data tracking and use in the decision making process, especially how to engage users with more targeted training. Moreover, statistical analysis of data has allowed project officers to draw causal relationships between project training and farmer performance, demonstrating that farmers are applying the agronomic practices they are learning to improve crop yields.

Milestone

Jan 2017
Key Partnership
ORGANIZATIONACDI/VOCA