Technology Flash Talk: Farmer extension and digital knowledge base platform


Horticulture Technologies Poised for Uptake

Multi-channel farmer extension and digital knowledge base platform

Gina Assaf, Digital Design Lead for Souktel, presented this technology flash talk about multi-channel farmer extension and digital knowledge base platforms during the Horticulture Research for Development Conference, "Colorful Harvest: From Feeding to Nourishing a Growing World," held March 26-27, 2019 in Washington, D.C. 

Assaf presented on features of a new digital platform for farmer extension that includes several features:

  • Multi-channel, 2-way communication with farmers via SMS (text messaging), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Facebook and Whatsapp.
  • Knowledge management system that employs content tagging and searching to help build up a knowledge repository for re-use of information.
  • Case management features and triaging of issues that allows for consistent, efficient follow-up with farmers.
  • Data analytics on incoming data to help inform project decisions.

She presented a "use case" for this platform with the Feed the Future Egypt Food Security and Agribusiness Support (FAS) project led by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA). Originally farmers had limited access to information and extension services on new products and services to assist with new crop production. Technology use also varied as did literacy of the farmers, based on location, age, gender, etc. Assaf's presentation walked the audience through ways this platform could be used for this project, with incoming messages, message triaging, user responses, and data analytics being collected.