The Problem

There are 500 million small-scale farmers in the world, producing 70% of the world’s food, but many of them are chronically hungry and lack vital information to boost harvests, earn sufficient income, or address the threats of climate change. Public extension services have dwindled around the globe, leaving many farmers without access to agricultural knowledge and best practices. “Digital advisory services” (DAS) can offer farmers this critical knowledge, but DAS has only reached a small fraction of smallholder farmers in the global south, and women and youth, especially, lack equal access to these solutions.

The solution: AgriPath

The goal of the AgriPath project is to identify and scale effective and inclusive pathways for digital advisory services to reach men, women, and youth farmers. To this end, the project considers both technological and social innovations, as well as how to help technology providers better understand ways to translate use of digital solutions into concrete behavior changes that will improve farmers’ productivity, income, and climate resilience. AgriPath is designed around DAS apps such as farmbetter, which is tailored to match sustainable land management solutions, many offered in the WOCAT global database, with farmer’s needs in the project’s five target countries in India and sub-Saharan Africa. Grameen Foundation, a partner within the AgriPath consortium, leads dissemination of the learnings, and develops capacities of stakeholders to apply them. Grameen will translate findings into an easy-to-use toolkit for providers, users, and donors to improve return on investment of deploying DAS for smallholders.

More about AgriPath

Digital advisory services for smallholder families in Africa and Asia
A research and innovation project at the Centre for Development and Environment and the Institute of Sociology, University of Bern, aims to strengthen sustainable farming methods among smallholder families in Africa and Asia using digitally supported agricultural extension services. Its overall goal is to improve the families’ productivity, incomes, and climate resilience. The project is being implemented through a consortium of international partners and is jointly funded by the TRANSFORM program of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the GIZ fund for the Promotion of Innovation in Agriculture (i4Ag).

Connecting women to agriculture digital services: Pathways to scale
Digital agriculture services provide an opportunity to change the status quo–increased mobile phone usage among farmers can provide much-needed access to farming best practices, as well as financial inclusion–but there are some risks involved.

AgriPath Resources