GeoAgro-Misr Digital Application Training in Egypt

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Amid escalating climate change and dwindling water resources in dryland regions, FAO Egypt, ICARDA, and the Egyptian Ministry of Water and Irrigation launched the Water Productivity Enhancement in Agriculture Project, funded by the government of Japan. Through ICARDA’s innovative water management approaches, the project aims to achieve at least a 20% increase in water usage efficiency by smallholder farmers, as well as 10% to 20% improvement in crop yields, resulting in a 20% plus increase in household income.

A key factor in the project is the GeoAgro-MiSR smartphone app developed by ICARDA under CGIAR’s initiative Excellence in Agronomy. This cutting-edge app combines geospatial technology and agricultural management practices to provide a comprehensive platform for data collection and analysis, and better inform farmers on decision-making. During April, ICARDA’s science team implemented a number of training workshops for 35 FAO facilitators and field coordinators to help them support 1,500 Egyptian farmers to adopt GeoAgro-MiSR app and integrated packages of improved agri-approaches and technologies in three governorates, Kafr El-Sheikh, Menia and Qena.

Digital Application At the workshops, participants were shown how to utilize the GeoAgro-MiSR application in their daily work. They explored methods for capturing and analyzing agricultural data, monitoring crop performance, assessing soil conditions, and making informed decisions on irrigation, nutrient management, and pest control. Case studies and best practices using GeoAgro-Misr from similar agro-ecological contexts were highlighted to demonstrate the app’s potential and how participants can apply it to real-world scenarios. The participants also contributed to setting the work plan for the next scaling stage during the summer, aiming to increase the capacity and accessibility of the application in the three governorates.

Rania Gamal, ICARDA scientist Field coordinators and facilitators who completed the workshops are now equipped with GeoAgro-Misr tools and the skills to aid farmers in Qena, Minya, and Kafr El-Sheikh governorates. Their role is crucial in bridging the gap between new, unfamiliar technologies and the farmers who may be reluctant to adopt new approaches for fear of affecting their fragile yields. ICARDA scientists will conduct monthly site visits, use an online feedback system, and create a distribution map to track user adoption of GeoAgro. These efforts will also ensure the tool’s functionality and improve its impact on agricultural practices in the region.

GeoAgro-MiSR is just one of many ICARDA innovative tools that have been developed alongside partners to embrace the power of digitalization in agri-research.  Data collection and analysis incorporated into agricultural approaches allows global research to actively work towards the sustainable development of resilient food systems for farming communities in dry regions in the face of accelerating climate change.

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