CommCare for Agricultural Extension Workers
Agricultural extension and advisory is one of the most researched and proven techniques of improving yields and incomes for farmers. Trained agents visit communities to ensure the dissemination of current best practice, helping organize cooperatives or implement secondary programs.
Developing countries continue to spend large sums of resources promoting agriculturally led development through agricultural extension work. However, these agricultural workers are expected to travel extensively across their countries while ensuring they maintain consistent and high quality work – a nearly impossible task. Furthermore, agents receive limited training, resulting in short, infrequent visits where the complexities of agricultural issues are not easily addressed and key steps in farmer advising process are skipped.
Dimagi technology helps alleviate spatial and consistency issues for agricultural extension agents.
Agricultural Extension Workers
Mobile technology can support farmer trainings, ensuring a consistency in curriculum that reduces the burden on extension workers, while at the same time, monitoring the data necessary to ensure that programs are achieving end-line goals in yields and income increases.
- Mobile applications support on and offline data collection, facilitating record-keeping and enabling reports to be quickly shared with farming supervisors while preventing information loss.
- Registration and case sharing in mobile applications enables farmers to be easily tracked across visits, facilitating a continuum of personalized training according to specific crop, farm size, and techniques.
- Multimedia can reinforce worker trainings so that they are more engaging and ensure correct information is disseminated, while increasing performance.
- Interaction with servers ensures market and technical information is accurate and up to date
- Decision support and checklists increase adherence to protocols, improving extension agent’s performance and efficiency.
- Mobile applications and SMS can remind extension agents to follow up on low-performing farmers.
- Collected data can be validated by the applications and used by monitoring and evaluation teams for tracking key program indicators, such as adoption of best farming practices and agricultural output.