On 26th April 2021, we commenced agri-technology farmer training in Matare, Serengeti. This is an exciting way of supporting the local community with their work, whilst also engaging the attendees in education and conversation around gender based violence. Hope for Girls and Women, Tanzania, collaborated with PlantNuru, Kenya, to provide the training which explored the use of digital technology to help farmers protect their crops.
We had 20 farmers and 7 community leaders involved in the two day session. The official opening of the training was delivered by Serengeti’s District Executive Director. The District Agricultural Officer and District Community Development Officer were also in attendance.
Day one covered the types of disease that can be found in cassava and Maize and how to differentiate between diseases and their impact to crops.
We looked at the approaches that can be used to mitigate the infection of these crops, providing a solution on how to plant cassava and maize when you want to increase your production and possible ways of planting cassava for seed.
Day two included a practical session on how to record crop type data by using PlantVillage app. We visited a maize and cassava farm where disease identification exercises were carried out. Attendees were shown how they can use the PlantVillage app for detection of diseases and Pests. Farmers can seek advice from extension officers who are close by as well as from other users, using the app.
This is an innovative new stepping stone for farmers to benefit from agri-technology, which will help the production of their crops.
Twenty farmers were given smart phones at the end of the session. As well as the PlantVillage app, their phones were installed with maps.me and the ODK form to support the reporting of GBV/FGM cases. All farmers signed the contract for receiving their phones to commit themselves on how to use their phones for the targeted work.
We had very positive feedback from the farmers involved in the session who welcomed this opportunity to enhance their output and support their local community, including vulnerable girls and women.
The PlantVillage app can be downloaded on the GooglePlay and Apple App Store.
We will bring you further updates on this important collaboration between Hope for Girls and Women and PlantNuru, as well as with the wider community, over the coming months.