The Grameen Foundation AppLab has established a network of community knowledge workers (CKWs) who serve as “knowledge hubs” for smallholder farmers in Uganda. The farmers are trained to use a suite of ICT applications on a smartphone for addressing multiple challenges along the value chain. An SMS-based service, designed to reach the broadest possible audience, provides real-time agricultural information and extension services to farmers and also pulls data from the users for decision-making (Campenhout, 2013). Lessons: Formulating the right messages for and with farmers, addressing illiteracy and empowering farmers to use mobile phones can lead to increased adoption of new technologies and improved practices.

Integrating ICTs in national extension systems

The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) of Jamaica has been proactive in using ICTs in its extension programmes. The ICT programme has been financed through its core budget and grant funding. Staff have access to computers with Internet access and multimedia projectors.