The use of information and communication technologies in innovative ways is helping farmers reap big in terms of information at their finger tips and research in general. Prof. Settumba B. Mukasa of Makerere University under his projects like Cassava CARP and Eight Tech Consults Limited have been at the forefront of developing cost effective solutions to help agriculture as an industry, research and rural farmers engage in knowledge creation and dissemination and among themselves at every stage of the food chain.
These ICT tools developed have helped farmers easily find seed for their next planting, make orders for seed, apply for their field inspections among other things by the extension workers. It is a good thing that senior researchers like Prof. Mukasa see the value of integrating ICT into Agricultural interventions as a way to promote access to information and accountability among other things. At Eight Tech we are continuously finding better ways of proving cheap, efficient and cost effective solutions for the agricultural sector. We understand that farmers information priorities include weather information, disease resistant varieties, crop advisory or extension services and price information all of which information can be easily aggregated into one simple solution and that is what we are doing for our partners.
Data collection as well as Monitoring and evaluation tools are crucial for the agricultural sector since its against the data collected that decisions are made. we have created a number of custom built applications on Android and using open source tools for our ever growing clientele to help in capturing of data from the field. These data collection tools increase the accuracy and efficiency of data collection process. The number of people needed while conducting a data collection exercise will be less than half you will need if conducting a paper based survey which reduces on the costs of the exercise plus also the time required to collect data will be reduced by 70%.
These tools among other things have Farmer Profile, Garden Mapping, Data Analysis, Store and Forward, Monitoring and Evaluation components plus Reporting Modules. The information is relayed to a web system which will display the public data and the private one is only accessed through the dashboard by authorized persons.