Background: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched the Farmer Field School (FFS) programme in 1989 to train rice farmers in Indonesia on integrated pest management (IPM) as part of their National IPM Programme. Because of its enormous success in Indonesia, this initiative quickly expanded to other Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American countries. However, in East Africa, there was a need to develop an inclusive information system for farmers in order to improve farmers' access to information. As a result, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Eastern Africa aimed to create a web-based knowledge platform for the gathering, compilation, categorizing, and dissemination of FS-related information.
Solution: The African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) presented a system that would expand the information knowledge management platform and establish the necessary system improvements as a solution to this problem. AFAAS contracted Bewsys to develop a user-friendly information system aid mapping and engagement with Field School facilitators. This was aimed at enhancing an inclusive system for farmers to have easy access to information.
Impact: Field schools can now access and share information virtually, increasing the AFAAS's ability to effectively expand agricultural extension and consulting services across Africa at reduced costs. The improved coverage of agricultural extension information has enhanced farmer’s yield while improving their living standards and environmental conservation through sustainable farming practices.