In The Gambia, the authorities of the Ministry of Agriculture have decided to use a digital application for efficient tracking of the seed distribution to framers.
As part of the Gambia Inclusive and Resilient Agricultural Value Chain Development (GIRAV) project, the Gambian government launched the distribution of certified rice and maize seeds to 12,500 farmers, in early June.
The GIRAV project team has developed a mobile application to record beneficiaries, as part of the mechanism to ensure the efficient seed distribution to farmers.
“The digital application enables the record of the contact details and all information of each of the beneficiaries who receive the seeds distributed by the Government of The Gambia under the GIRAV project,” explains Ms. Suun Faye, Digital Technology Specialist for the GIRAV project.
“The application is a steering tool for the project as the data recorded will help map the beneficiaries and will also provide information necessary for monitoring and evaluation of the project,” specifies the specialist.
Named ODK Collect, the application is basically open source, and the project has therefore customized it to fit the specific needs of the project, says Ms. Faye.
The application compiles data on the identity of the farmers, contact details and geographical location, their pictures, the surface area of their field and the type of crops, the type and variety of seeds received, etc.
It is installed on tablets acquired for this purpose and used by field agents.
As connectivity in rural areas is sometimes a challenge, the application offers the option to save data offline. And once the tablet is connected, it uploads and updates the data in a centralized database.
“The mobile application designed by the GIRAV project team is an important innovation in the agricultural inputs distribution process,” said Ms. Feyi Boroffice, World Bank Resident Representative in The Gambia.
For the Gambian Minister of Agriculture, Honorable Dr. Demba Sabally, the digital registration of beneficiaries will help in minimizing duplications of resource allocation to farmers.
Two hundred (200) metric tons of rice seed and fifty (50) metric tons of maize seed will be distributed to 12,500 Gambian smallholder farmers, under this program.
The official launching ceremony of the seed distribution was held in early June in Abuko, near Banjul (The Gambia), in the presence of the Minister of Agriculture, the World Bank Resident Representative in The Gambia, CORAF and several other stakeholders.
It is expected that this support will enhance farmers’ resilience and increase the country’s agricultural productivity, thereby addressing the issue of heavy dependence on imports of these crops, particularly rice.