The national farmers information service (NAFIS) - Extension services through Mobile telephony and internet


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Presentation by Halima Nenkari (NALEP) at the IAALD 2010 World Congress - 26-29 April 2010, Montpellier, France

The national farmers information service (NAFIS) - Extension services through Mobile telephony and internet

  1. 1. THE NATIONAL FARMERS INFORMATION SERVICE (NAFIS) Extension services through Mobile telephony and internet Halima Nenkari National Agriculture & Livestock Extension Programme (NALEP) Ministry of Livestock Development, Nairobi KENYA AWARD FELLOW (2008-2010)
  2. 2. Rationale <ul><li>Importance of Agriculture in national economy </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly done by small scale farmers who form the bulk of the farmers. </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers output can be improved by improved technical support as offered by extension officers. </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural extension officers are currently over-stretched and reach less than 50% of the farmers. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology can be used to expand the reach of extension services to the 4.5 million farmers. </li></ul><ul><li>Extension services are local by nature; that is the information offered is area specific. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>Public extension service - most reliable </li></ul><ul><li>Smallholder farmers, pastoralists and fisher-folk - 4.5 million. </li></ul><ul><li>Current extension outreach - 2.1 million </li></ul><ul><li>No not reached, 2.4 million </li></ul><ul><li>There is positive response on the use of mobile phones by the illiterate, young & old </li></ul>
  4. 4. Mobile subscriber growth in Kenya
  5. 5. Number of wireless subscribers including mobile data/internet subscribers
  6. 6. Overall Objective <ul><li>Enhance dissemination and access to Agricultural Extension Information by the 4.5 Million Kenyan farmers on the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Livestock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market prices – inputs, services, produce, products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General Information </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Design and Implement a Voice Based information Service with the following features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessible through all the telephony networks in Kenya </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secure and easily updated through the Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicates through understandable Kiswahili and English dialects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scalable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affordable by farmers </li></ul></ul>Specific Objectives
  8. 8. Partners <ul><li>NALEP, Client: </li></ul><ul><li>Project direction and Content. </li></ul><ul><li>Teknobyte (Kenya), Lead-consultant: </li></ul><ul><li>Project management, development of TTS </li></ul><ul><li>Speechnet, Consultant: </li></ul><ul><li>Web/Voice design and system integration </li></ul><ul><li>Popote Wireless: </li></ul><ul><li>System hosting and trials </li></ul><ul><li>University of Nairobi and AIRC: </li></ul><ul><li>Translation resources, Studio recording, research materials etc. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Pilot study – The banana service <ul><li>Pilot study undertaken jointly between </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Nairobi, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NALEP, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uppsala University, Sweden and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside Echo (UK), </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Usability tests carried out in Kirinyaga district with the following lessons learnt: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uppsala University, Sweden </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Service was easy to use. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural male voices preferred with Kenyan accents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>English preferred over Kiswahili </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information on other products highly desirable especially Daily cattle and market prices </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Integration to the National Telecommunication Network </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible Voice database navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Update-end </li></ul><ul><li>Voices In Local Kiswahili and English Dialects </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural content </li></ul>System Features
  11. 11. NAFIS Description <ul><li>It is a Government extension service </li></ul><ul><li>currently in English & Kiswahili languages </li></ul><ul><li>Will accommodate other languages. </li></ul><ul><li>Electronically generated voice information service </li></ul><ul><li>It is easy to use and requires minimal training. </li></ul><ul><li>There are no extra charges beyond the normal telephone and internet charges. </li></ul>
  12. 12. NAFIS Description 2 <ul><li>It is a highly innovative system </li></ul><ul><li>It can be updated with site-specific information by frontline extension officers. </li></ul><ul><li>Quality assurance is guaranteed through in-built alerts. </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback mechanisms are in place for response through emails. </li></ul>
  13. 13. System Development Stages <ul><li>Development of Agricultural extension information (CONTENT) for each enterprise. </li></ul><ul><li>Development of Web-Update end. </li></ul><ul><li>Development of Text-To-Speech (TTS) systems for data to voice conversion, both on Kiswahili and Kenyan English®. </li></ul><ul><li>Development of Voice-site </li></ul><ul><li>Integration of the three systems. </li></ul>
  14. 14. NAFIS ARCHITECTURE WEB DATABASE TTS + Engine IVR System Telephone Card LAN Farmers INTERNET CONTENT Telcos Telcos Farmers Farmers POPOTE KDN NALEP Web server Voice server HOST
  15. 15. ACCESS ACCESS UPDATING Machakos NAFIS zain SAFARICOM TELKOM OTHERS FARMERS Banana Coffee Livestock Rice M/Prices INTERNET VSAT/ ADSL KENSTREAM DIAL-UP Field Officers Machakos Eldoret Taita-Taveta Kisii Nyeri Location 1 Location 2 Location 3 Location 4 Location 5 TEKNOBYTE NALEP HQ CONTROL CONNECTION TO TELCOS E1 E1
  16. 16. The Internet Updating System <ul><li>The Field officers will be provided with an internet based menu systems through which they can update the service. </li></ul><ul><li>The system will have a three-level password system, so that those with more access rights can alter information entered by the one with lower rights. </li></ul><ul><li>Headquarters will be alerted on all information so updated for vetting purposes. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Access Password System System administrator Level District Level Field Officer Level Increased Access Rights ACCESS LEVELS OF THE UPDATING SYSTEM Headquarters Level Provincial Level
  18. 18. THE NAFIS VOICES <ul><li>Two sets of voices have been provided for the service: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kiswahili </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Kenyan English® </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>These voices are in the familiar Kenyan local dialects. </li></ul><ul><li>The updating officer will enter information in both languages. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Call: +254 20 47NAFIS which is same as </li></ul><ul><li> +254 20-4762347 </li></ul><ul><li>Website: </li></ul><ul><li>Coming soon are access numbers for all mobile companies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>safaricom, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zain, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Orange, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>u and others </li></ul></ul>Access
  20. 20. Other features <ul><li>In built alerts </li></ul><ul><li>RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail subscription </li></ul>