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The implementation of ICT in Agriculture and Rural Development in South Africa Dr Roelof de Villiers Managing Director Manstrat: Agricultural Intelligence Solutions (PTY) Ltd 20 to 23 May 2012
AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY SERVICES IN SOUTHAFRICA•Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) with +/- 2000 ExtensionPractitioners in the 9 Provinces•Local Authorities with Local Economic Development Department and agricultureas development component•Non-Governmental Organisations with an agricultural focus and Advisors•Agricultural Consultants•Agricultural Training Providers providing Training and Support Services•Agro-industry with advisorsLarge scale Smallholder farmers Subsistence farmerscommercial farmers Range of support to all levels of farming
AGRICULTURE IN SOUTH AFRICACommercial Farmers : 40 000Smallholder Farmers : 250 000Subsistence Farmers : 1 200 000ESTIMATED TOTAL : 1 490 000 Estimations of total number of farmers ranges from 1 300 000 to 2 100 000
PERSPECTIVES ON SUPPORTFARMERS ADVISORS• Advisors visit once and never see • See challenges but unable to find them again solutions at the office• Do not provide relevant advice • Lack of access to information• Feel neglected • Embarrassed to return to farmers with• Low level of trust no appropriate solution• Implementing inappropriate systems • Inappropriate information from available sources • Information in inaccessible archives Farmers annoyed with Advisors Advisors avoiding farmers
EXTENSION SUITE ONLINEExtension Suite Online is an internet based (online) information system developed foragricultural Advisors to provide them with information on every possible aspect ofagriculture right there where and when they need it - on the farm.The system is simple to use and enable Advisors to assist farmers immediately whenassistance is needed, without having to go back to the office to find information.The information and solutions to problems are distributed via the internet to devicessuch as notebook computers (laptops), pc’s, cellular telephones as well as otherinternet enabled handheld devices.Since it is available on the internet, it is distributed by means of cellular telephonenetworks, landline distribution as well as wireless systems.It is available wherever there is some kind of connectivity and where no suchconnectivity is available, and fore low bandwidth users, a light, small footprint versionis available.It was developed and is maintained by agricultural Advisors, for Agricultural Advisorsand provides relevant and appropriate information for African conditions.
DISTRIBUTION OFFICE PC INTERNET SERVER INTERNETMANSTRAT NOTEBOOKINFORMATION CENTER CELLULAR TELEPHONE CELLULAR TELEPHONE NETWORK
LINKING FARMERS, EXTENSIONISTS AND RESEARCHERS Agric ESO Colleges DAFF Student Research version University Manstrat Information Centre Parastatal Research Extension ESO Full version Private Sector Call Centre Research ESO Farmers International version Farmers Research
COMPLETE RANGE OF INFORMATION RIGHT THERE ON THE FARM AT THE MOMENT WHEN IT IS NEEDED
UTILISATION 423 000 PAGES IN 18 MONTHS 981 EQUIVALENT BOOKS HEIGHT OF 29 METERS 10 STORY BUILDING 30mm 29 m
FEEDBACK FROM EXTENSION PRACTITIONERSThe Farmer now has confidence in the information that I supply to him. ESO is thetool for information one cannot learn at school. ESO gives me the opportunity tohave information ready, immediately without having to search for days. ESO is aninformation bank on the go. - Soyisile MtombelaI can use ESO with confidence and I do a lot of research on it for farmers. Myrelationship with my clients has improved and it has given me confidence to supplyinformation to farmers. One does not need piles of books to do research, you cango directly to the information that you need. Extension Suite Online gives youconfidence in your knowledge. It is an excellent Extension Friend. - LesegoPhakadiExtension Suite Online has enhanced my relationship with farmers immensely, dueto the load of information that is available. It is a brilliant source of information andmy duties have become easier since I have relevant information immediately athand. - Vukile Ggodwana
FEEDBACK FROM EXTENSION PRACTITIONERS (Continued..)I do research on Extension Suite Online to advise farmers and I also provideassistance to other extension officers who have not yet been registered onExtension Suite Online Extension Suite Online is an excellent and very importantprogram in my life, a true library in your hands. - Mthobisi JacksonI can now supply the farmers that I serve with more accurate information. - JabuBaloyiExtension Suite Online has given me the opportunity to become more assertive inmy work in communicating knowledge to farmers. It gives me a way to conveyinformation in a simpler, more understandable medium to farmers and I havelearned that I can get information on a farm, by just knowing the farm’s name. Justby the click of a mouse you can solve a farmer’s problems in the field withinseconds. - Sindile MagodaThe great thing about Extension Suite Online is that you can go onto the systemimmediately; while you are on the farm, to help a farmer with information ondiseases, production and many more subjects, this factor has had a positiveinfluence on my work with the farmers. - Thommy Malongane