Improving access to and scaling digital agricultural extension services
Enhancing capacities of stakeholders for the uptake and adoption of digital agricultural extension services
The project “AgriPath – Empowering smallholder farmers’ transition to sustainable agriculture through effective and efficient digital pathways” aims to bring sustainable agriculture to scale. By providing farmers and extension services with tailored digital solutions focused on sustainable agricultural practices, female and male smallholders are supported in increasing their agricultural productivity, income, and climate resilience.
AgriPath will examine intra-household decision-making processes, including processes that go beyond established social norms (gender roles) to embrace more democratic access to information and knowledge (e.g. including youth, not just household heads). It will provide evidence on sustainable pathways for use of digital advisory services at scale and enhance uptake of sustainable practices.
APPROACH/FIELD OF INTERVENTION
AgriPath will provide causal evidence to help mainstream the application of tailor-made digital advisory services, aiming to support the scale up of sustainable agriculture in Africa and Asia. Using a mixed-method approach, the project will run behavioural experiments and randomized controlled trial studies to disentangle the impact of digital solutions offered according to three different models, namely:
self-service (farmers using it on their own);
agent-based (extension agents using it with the farmers);
hybrid (farmers using it on their own, with some support from agents).
Moreover, focus groups and lab-in-the-field experiments will provide country-specific knowledge on gender and youth involvement in sustainable agriculture relevant for contextualizing digital advisory services and facilitating their uptake. The mix of research methods will contribute to a better understanding of farmers’ behaviour and household decision-making processes.
The AgriPath research is designed around one digital application – the farmbetter app – which is co-designed with, and tailored to, its users in the target countries and forms one key component of the different models of digital advisory services subject to analysis. The algorithm of the farmbetter app matches farmers’ needs with the sustainable land management solutions offered in the WOCAT global database.
Furthermore, policy recommendations and a scaling framework for the adoption of digital agricultural solutions will be developed. Dissemination and scaling will be supported through capacity development measures and events with the Digital Agriculture Solutions Engagement Hubs (DAS Hubs) in each target country and in close cooperation with neighbouring countries.
30,000 smallholder farmers, 50% of whom are women, and 150 extension agents, 30% of whom are women, from public and private advisory services in the three target countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Burkina Faso) and Asia (India and Nepal). Additional smallholder farmers and extension workers in at least six neighbouring countries (e.g. Mali, Niger, Kenya, Bangladesh, Myanmar) will be reached through scaling activities.
ASEAN Access, Regional Platform Launch for Supporting SMEs Trade in the Region and Beyond
As part of the support the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the region, 10 ASEAN Member States commissioned the virtual regional portal establishment, namely ASEAN Access, led by Thailand through the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP). ASEAN Access aims to support SMEs by providing comprehensive information on business, trade, market entry and related training opportunities for SMEs in ASEAN and beyond
In mid-July 2021, 582 users, including service providers, registered on the ASEAN Access. By end August 2021 feature of business matchmaking will be available at ASEAN Access. Meanwhile, the development of four national portals in Cambodia (KhmerSME), Indonesia (SMEsta), Myanmar (MSME), and Vietnam continues to progress and will be connected to ASEAN Access.
The GIZ ASEAN SMEs project receives funding from BMZ and implemented in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.