Revolutionizing Agriculture: Zambia's E-Extension Service and Crop Monitor Unveiled
- Impact Area
In the pursuit of agricultural excellence, Zambia is embarking on a groundbreaking journey with the launch of the E-Extension Service. Recognizing the pivotal role of extension and information services in the country’s development, the Zambian government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is leading the charge in establishing a cutting-edge system that aligns with the Vision 2030 agenda.
The urgency of the matter cannot be overstated. Climate change looms as a threat, with potential agricultural losses estimated between US$2.2 and US$3.13 billion in the coming decades. To address this challenge, the adoption of climate-smart agriculture and sustainable development techniques becomes imperative. However, the effectiveness of these solutions hinges on efficient agricultural extension and advisory services, a domain facing challenges due to diminishing human resources and the limitations of traditional top-down approaches.
The E-Extension Service – a digital innovation is poised to reshape how agricultural knowledge is disseminated. In a collaborative effort, the Ministry of Agriculture, World Food Program (WFP), and Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT are actively co-developing and implementing this transformative platform for Zambia.
The workshop officially opened its doors on the 25th of January 2024 on, marking a milestone day in Zambia’s agricultural evolution. The Director for Agriculture, Dr. Chizumba Shepande, graced the event with the inaugural address, emphasizing the significance of the E-Extension Service in achieving sustainable farming practices and securing food security for the nation. The E-extension services aligns with the Zambian government’s initiative for digital economy. “The government has an action plan for 2022-2023 where we plan to digitalize all government services” emphasized Dr. Shipande in his opening remarks. He underscored the importance of ensuring that as many farmers are reached by extension services and given that the country has a total of 2600 agricultural camps, and with a poor ration of 1 extension officer for every 1000 farmers, the e-extension will offer a lifeline for farmers to access reliable farming information and advisories.