TECHNOLOGIES THAT CAN TRANSFORM SMALLHOLDERS FARMERS’ LIVES Apr 17, 2017 10:00:50 GMT 1
Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Apr 17, 2017 10:00:50 GMT 1
One of the agreements reached at the "'world Economic Forum annual meetings held in Davos recently, was the need for governments across the world to take agriculture seriously to ensure sustainable supply of food for the growing population in the world.
Majority of poor people in the world reside in rural areas, and depend on agriculture as their main source of livelihood. For instance, In Africa, over 80 per cent farmers are smallholders and they produce 70 per cent of the continent's food. Developing the sector's potential through technology to increase productivity and incomes for smallholder crop production systems will be the basis to achieving global food security in the coming years as traditional methods of farming continually proves insufficient to meet increased demand for food
The internet today plays an important role in our daily life. It does not only make our tasks easier but also saves a lot of time. A United Nations report reveals that 55 percent of the world's people remain offline and are unable to take advantage of the enormous economic and social benefits the internet can offer. Also, majority of smallholder farmers live in remote areas, where good, fast internet connectivity reaches less than 30 percent of the population.
Increased internet connectivity will help farmers access vital information on how to operate more efficiently , equipment purchases, ensure high crop yields, soil mapping, plant health and effective farm animal management.
Mobile devices and platforms
In this 21st century, it is quite clear that cash payment schemes have become archaic. Mobile payments to farmers can be economically viable for value chains with expected and high volume transactional activity. Through mobile devices and platforms, farmers would have greater safety and security because they would no longer have to carry large amounts of cash after marketing their harvest.
More so, majority of smallholder farmers especially those in the rural areas are illiterates
Who are unaccustomed to the numerous forms required to open bank accounts, which oftentimes are not close to them. When these farmers are properly trained on how to make effective use of mobile financial services, it would serve their entire financial needs including expenses for agricultural inputs which would later lead to high productivity.
According to the World Bank, about 1.3 billion people live without reliable power sources globally, most especially in Africa and Asia. This translates to 600 million people - representing 70 percent of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa, who are without electricity, which is critical in powering water supplies, telecommunication services amongst others. Electricity is central to the broader development of agriculture anywhere in the world. Without stable electricity, it is unlikely for the agricultural sector to experience significant developmentwith constant electricity supply, smallholder farmers can run cleaner irrigation systems, use processing machines improved efficiencies in land preparation, planting and harvesting. All these would massively increase their yields and income.
Unique identifiers (UID)
This is a numeric or alphanumeric string that is associated with a single entity within a given system.
UIDs are already in use in developed countries and it plays a vital role in the lives of people. For example, when you log on to Amazon, the site recognizes you and your previous purchases. Unique identifiers, along with satellite imaging technology, would enable relevant agricultural agencies to collect data about farmers; where they live, how much land they cultivate, what they grow, what inputs they use, how much they yield, etc.
For instance, the eWallet system in Nigeria has enabled the government to identify and deliver input subsidies directly to farmers based on personal and biometric information provided by small holder farmers.
For unique identifiers to improve farmers' lives in Nigeria, data systems must be able to guarantee that data remains anonymous for the privacy and security of individuals. And with
Nutrient availability and soon.
if smallholder farmers adopt the use of geospatial analysis, it would enable them generate up-to-date aerial and satellite photographs of their farm during different periods of the year or seasons. with this information, the farmer is able to determine the productivity of different management zones. at
This is a farming concept that utilizes geographical information to determine field variability in order to ensure optimal use of inputs and maximize the output from a farm. large tracts of land usually have spatial variations of soil types, moisture content, and the same time, the growth and yield patterns of different zones within the farm can also be identified.
although some of these technologies are still relatively new and may be alien to smallholder farmers in Nigeria, it is therefore imperative for government, and relevant agencies to ensure they are not left behind in this global trend. This is necessary, as digital infrastructure is crucial for smallholder farmers to enable them access technologies that empowers them to make decisions about their farms and businesses.