Digital platforms for agro-advisory and business service delivery : lessons from scaling-up of AgroTech in Ghana

Document also available on IDRC’s Digital Library Here.

Grameen Foundation, Farm Radio International and other partners implemented the project “Achieving Impact at Scale” from 2015 to 2018 18. The project was implemented through the ADVANCE
II project implemented by ACDI VOCA. The Objective of the project is to test the scale up of AgroTech, an ICT platform, in the delivery of agricultural extension and agribusiness advisory services to smallholders, through private sector value chain players. AgroTech combines interactive radio broadcast and customized field coaching by an agent, bring together information, inputs and markets through private businesses. The goal of the project is to contribute to policy reform of the agricultural extension system with the view of improving responsiveness, accountability and operational sustainability. The project has been implemented through six community radio stations and 260 individuals and entities, including market aggregators, nucleus farmers, individually owned outgrower businesses, small-scale enterprises, credit cooperatives and farmer-based organizations/association.

Geographically six regions were covered, involving some 83 districts. Interactive radio broadcast reached and estimated 300,000 smallholders, majority of whom implemented what they heard and gained yield increase more than those not exposed to interactive radio. The agent component enrolled over 14,000 smallholders who also gained in a similar way. Our experience indicate that digital platforms in agricultural extension and agribusiness services delivery can be successful at scale, but requires policy change and support. We recommend that MOFA should be supported to complete the ongoing reform that includes increasing private sector participation and regulating the service delivery and standard. We also recommend that the current e-agriculture platform be oriented as a “master platform” where private sector digital platforms plug in to ensure accountability and harmonization of data collected on agriculture and smallholders.

This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), www.idrc.ca, and with financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC), www.international.gc.ca

Year Published: 2018

Contact: Caroline Montpetit at cmontpetit@farmradio.org

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