CARE International Improves Tech in Agriculture
CARE International Ghana in partnership with BLUETOWN, a Non-Profit Organization, has held: “Connecting the unconnected” project to help farmers to get technological information to improve farming and enhance productivity in the agricultural sector.
The major problem facing local crop growers has been accessing the right information to improve productivity. Therefore, there is a need for the project to enable farmers to engage in lucrative activities to improve crop yields.
The project which was meant to improve digital transformation in agriculture by innovating and piloting digital agricultural services to promote national development by enabling Ghanaian farmers to engage in sustainable crop production and increase market yields was held by CARE International.
The Assistant Director and Head of Programmes at Care International, Mrs Gifty Blekpe said ways to mobilise a community, strengthen resilience and standards of living were integrated with BLUETOWN’S non-urban internet solution and digital content platform, local cloud.
She stressed that the project which is projected for 5 years would utilize creative technology to disseminate digitized extension, business, market and information on climate to ‘last mile’ small scale farmers.
Emphasizing on the theme: “Harnessing digital solutions for agriculture transformation in Ghana,” She said CARE would also discover how to improve entrepreneurial ICT for the youth.
Hence, this project would involve the youth in digital entrepreneurship to help innovation within the space of digital agricultural services in and outside traditional agriculture.
In addition, Mrs Blekple said, “ We believe that there is a huge untapped potential for improving digital agricultural services in rural areas and will be inviting partners to help us explore and test this potential further in Ghana”.
The project is in three folds with the first one harnessing on 5 pilot communities for cocoa growers in the Bono and Ahafo regions while the second phase would be for food crop growers in the Upper East region.
The final phase would rely on extending the project above the 10 pilot communities targeting a minimum of 5500 farmers by the close of the 5 year period, who can report improved productivity and benefits leading to improved living standards of the people.
Ms Tove Degnbol, Denmark Ambassador, commended the collaborative deal between CARE and BLUETOWN and conveyed a sense of trust that at the end of the project, Ghana would have the required support towards effecting its agricultural potentials.
She praised Ghana’s strong efforts in enhancing digitisation through initiatives like Ghana Card, paperless port, and the new drivers’ license.
Based on her speech, the digitisation process in Ghana was moving quickly but pointed out that inequality between the rural and urban areas continued to enlarge as “Technology plays an important role in closing the gap”.
Ms Degnbol stressed that the drive-in digitization was crucial in realizing the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda adopted by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to make the country self-reliant.
Mr Brain Tsikpor, the Corporate Affairs, BLUETOWN Ghana, explained the project as: “ A dream come true and a milestone in our quest to ensure that the less privileged communities are connected in Ghana”.
He said to some extent about 6000 people were linked to high-speed cheap internet through a state of the art WiFi internet for about 12 communities in the areas.
Mr Tsikpor said the partnership between the two organisations had come at a time as it started extending its efforts on infrastructure.
He emphasized, “We have just launched the cloud in Ashimura a community in the Esunapo North Municipal Assembly and for the purpose of these project farmers in this community will be provided with relevant information on crop production.’’
The information given to farmers was centred on crop cultivation, application of fertilizer, harvesting, climatic changes and others.
NOTE: The Connecting the Unconnected project is an innovative partnership between BLUETOWN, CARE, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and local strategic partners in Ghana, financed by the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) under the Danida Market Development Partnership Programme.