Mobile-based Extension Services - Ghana

The agriculture sector dominates the Ghanaian economy in terms of income, employment (comprising 60% of the labour force), food security and export earnings.

Although Ghana is one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of cocoa beans, the sector is highly vulnerable to climate change and variability, particularly from variations in rainfall patterns. It is projected that increased temperatures and variations in rainfall patterns from climate change will have severe impacts on the sector. Some effects can be seen already now. Increased uncertainty in rainfall patterns are currently distorting farming cycles, lowering yields and creating a vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. In an effort to transform the structure of the economy and alleviate poverty, the government has stated that it regards agricultural modernization and increasing smallholder farmers' market orientation to be a key step in meeting this goal.

Ghanaian agriculture is dominated to over 90% by smallholders farmers. They only have limited access to irrigation, but most importantly have limited farming knowledge. Ghana’s agricultural extension officer-to-farmer ratio is 1:2000, representing a thinly stretched service restricting the delivery of key extension services. It is estimated that over 95% of smallholders suffer a huge agricultural extension gap resulting in lower yields. However, there exists a high rate of ownership of mobile phones among smallholders, with most owning more than one phone. This high level of ownership created an opportunity for Viamo (previously VOTO Mobile) to leverage funding from the ADMIRE Project to develop a service that will provide mobile extension services to smallholder farmers through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform that bridged the gap between farmers and extension officers.

PROJECT OBJECTIVE

The ADMIRE project aimed to build resilient livelihoods and maintain productive crop yields of smallholder farmers under climate change through the introduction of a mobile phone-based agricultural extension service and reliable weather information provided through a local technology company, Viamo.

Click to read the full project brief.

RESOURCES

Final Project Report - The final report including description of the intervention and economic calculations of its impact.

 

 

 

 


http://www.admireproject.org/Projects/Mobile-based-Extension-Services-Ghana
20 SEPTEMBER 2019