This webinar that will be jointly presented by Welthungerhilfe and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement seeks to showcase the Transformative Digital Extension delivery and smallholder farm marketing in Zimbabwe through the Kurima Mari Mobile app.
The presentation will focus on :
Tawanda Mthintwa Hove is an Agribusiness, Food Security and ICT for Development (ICT4D) expert currently working for Welthungerhilfe in Zimbabwe. He is currently serving as the ICT for Development and Communications Officer focussing on the digitalisation of the Agriculture extension and agribusiness ecosystems within smallholder communities in Zimbabwe.
Mukai Shoko is a seasoned government extension officer serving under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Development in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe. Above being a Crop Science expert, she is a driver of innovation in the public sector extension as she has pioneered the development and adoption of e-extension in her province. She has over 15 years experience in public extension and is a passionate tomato and onion farmer.
Traditional extension delivery methods in Zimbabwe have over the last decade been subjected to multiple challenges which include a disproportionate ratio of extension workers to farmers, mobility constraints for public sector extension personnel, insufficient resources to continuously develop skills of field based extension workers to promote modern practices and low morale amongst extension staff due to poor remuneration. The digital Innovation Kurima Mari app seeks to mitigate challenges associated with traditional extension delivery. Kurima Mari is a mobile app which works on an offline basis designed to provide farmers with latest extension information for multiple crop and livestock value chains such that smallholder farmers can earn more from farming.
Whilst some traditional extension delivery systems can never be replaced, the app enables farmers to have instant access to information independent of physical contact with public and private extension service providers. Since its development in 2016, the app has over 10 000 farmers and 1000 extension officers using it across Zimbabwe. The application further contains an indepth offline library for diversified agriculture literature such that extension officers have an onsite refresher toolkit for various farming topics.
The Ministry of Agriculture has adopted the app and have played an integral role in its promotion amongst smallholder farmers as it enables farmers to have a self-help toolkit which allows extension officers to focus on major extension needs within the community. The application is now being scaled up at national level in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture and other NGOs.