Application of innovative ICT tools for linking agricultural research knowledge and extension services to farmers in Kenya
MetadataShow full item record
Despite the application and use of mobile and web-based technologies in improving access to information, the agricultural extension services still plays a key role in disseminating knowledge, technologies and agricultural information, and linking farmers with other stakeholders. However, limited access to extension services is the main factor causing decreased agricultural productivity. In Kenya the extension staff: farmer ratio is 1:1,500, a situation that hinders most farmers from accessing technological advances. A critical change agent is therefore required in transforming farming to modern and commercialized agriculture, promote household food security, improve income and reduce poverty. Virtual Agriculture Community (VAC) is a platform that provides access to agriculture information and training for both farmers and agriculture extension officers (AEO) through voice channel and supported by short message service for quizzes and multimedia short message service for graphical information. This paper discusses the application of innovative ICT tools that offer an effective solution that catalyses the information dissemination and knowledge transfer. It proposes Virtual Agricultural Community platform to provide remote access regular live and offline training of agriculture extension officers and farmers through mobile phones.