The Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries has launched Kilimo Call Centre, an ICT enabled service that will allow farmers to make use of a toll-free line to acquire standardised guidelines and answers to inquiries.
The tool identified as ‘Kilimo Call Centre’ was launched on 16th August to create more jobs for youths in the agricultural sector.
Through the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Government is implementing more recommendations of the National Strategy for Youth Employment in Agriculture.
The recommendations call for stepping up support for innovative youth groups and youth ICT experts in the agricultural sector to create value chain jobs for youth beyond the on-farm activities.
The Kilimo Call Centre and other similar initiatives are complementary to the recruitment drive under the Single Spine Extension System where Government embarked on the recruitment of Public Agricultural Extension Staff in Local Governments.
This recruitment drive has reached 3,032 extension staff which is 60% of the target (5000 recruited extension workers). The extension worker to Farmer ratio has reduced from 1:5000 5 years ago to about 1:1800.
This support for the youth through the Ministry is guided by the National Strategy for Youth Employment in Agriculture which will be followed by a National Strategy for ICT in Agriculture that is being developed through support from the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP).
The ICT-related component of the project focuses on promoting the use of digital technologies such as information systems to transfer and disseminate production, climate, market and advisory information in the country.
Through this project, the Ministry will see the completion in designing of the Agricultural Information Platform (AIP), ICT Business Impact Support as well as ensure proper designing and development of the Agriculture GeoPortal.
The Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP)
The Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) is a partnership project of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the World Bank, financed by the International Development Assistance (IDA) of the World Bank.
The Project was declared effective on January 23, 2017, to raise on-farm productivity, production, and marketable volumes of selected agricultural commodities (maize, beans, rice, cassava and coffee), in specified (12) geographic clusters (spanning over 42 districts, as of 2016).
Also, it was formulated to increase production and productivity of agricultural commodities and enterprises and also improve market access for finished goods.
ACDP project has been effective for 27 months, during which it has undergone a second tier-two restructuring that is currently being implemented.
By John Dalton Kigozi