FARM RADIO TO SCALE UP ICT SERVICES IN MALAWI
Farm radio trust Malawi recently held a meeting with Farm Radio International – Radios Rurales Internationales at a workshop for enhancing ICT 4 change to provide information and research to farmers in Malawi to counter the impact of climate change.
At the #ICT4Scale meeting, Director at the Department of Agriculture Extension Services in Malawi Dr Jeromy Nkhoma advised players in the extension service delivery to utilise ICTs and not to be over-reliant on face to face interactions with farmers.
Dr Nkhoma further emphasized on the need to scale up ICT agricultural solutions, stating that the agriculture sector employs 80% of population in Malawi.
Dr Nkhoma then added that government of Malawi through the Department of Agriculture Extension Services has commends ICT based extension providers such as Farm Radio Malawi and Farm Radio International for the work they are doing in helping with the agricultural transformation in the country.
Much research is being done on the nature of ICT potential to share and organize relevant Information through technology.
It was also revealed that #ICT4Scale is developing a model for scaling up ICT services in Malawi.
Through #ICT4Scale, Farm Radio Malawi and Farm Radio international are working towards encouraging women to be proactive in the utilisation of ICTs in agricultural transformation through a project known as “Harnessing ICTs for Scaling up agricultural solutions” n Mchinji district.
Meanwhile, a recent research indicates that #ICT4Scale enhances the work of extension workers as the ratio in Malawi is 1 e-worker to 3,000 farmers.
Such ICT services in the form of mobile phones, WhatsApp and SMS push/pull.
#ICT4Scale is for improved utilisation of ICTs by women, therefore it was established that it is important to make men understand and appreciate their role in empowering women at the household level in order to transform the agricultural sector in Malawi.
Farm Radio Trust Malawi is an indigenous, nonprofit, local Non Governmental Organization promoting innovative radio and ICT based farmer advisory and extension services in Malawi.