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24 Mar 2021 | RMS

Promoting agriculture information systems in Namobuddha Municipality

Pratigya Silwal & Erica Udas

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Web-based platform and mobile app officially handed over to the mayor of Namobuddha Municipality, T.P Sharma Timilsina (third from left), at an event organized in the municipality on 28 February 2021.

The agriculture sector is adopting improved technologies to increase productivity and to promote environmental, social, and economic sustainability. The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) can build resilient, productive, and sustainable agriculture systems through data-driven agriculture development, climate services, agricultural extension services, and market information for farmers and service providers to connect with actors across the value chain. Promotion and use of these technologies by local governments can accelerate service provision at the grassroots level and help in planning and decision-making processes.

Agriculture information system for Namobuddha

In line with the local government’s strategic plan, we partnered with GeoKrishi, Pathway Technologies and Services Pvt Ltd and CEAPRED to develop a web-based agriculture information system for Namobuddha Municipality along with the GeoKrishi mobile app for farmers and extension service providers. The web-based platform and mobile app were officially handed over to the mayor of Namobuddha Municipality, T.P Sharma Timilsina, at an event organized at the municipality in February 2021. The event was attended by municipality officials, ward chairpersons, members from all 11 wards of the municipality, lead farmers, and media persons. The mayor handed over the digital platform to each ward chairperson and the agriculture service section of the municipality. He also reiterated his interest in establishing Namobuddha as a digital municipality and his commitment to providing digital agriculture services throughout the municipality.

How does GeoKrishi help farmers?

The GeoKrishi mobile app can help farmers to perform better day-to-day farm operations at different stages – planning, nursery management, growing, harvesting, pest and disease management, and post-harvesting phases – based on the aggregated information of 20 major crops and vegetables prioritized by the municipality. Once registered, farmers receive customized agriculture advisory services and information according to their needs, including real-time localized weather forecasts. The app also provides updated information on daily market rates at major vegetable markets. The farmers can also maintain individual diaries to track farm inputs, expenses and agriculture practices on the app, and view business plans.

Web-based platform for the municipality

The web-based agriculture platform will help the municipality predict production, manage aggregation and marketing, monitor farms, and disseminate information directly to the farmers. Some of the highlighted features of the web-based platform include: a decision support system based on field mapping; market analytics and business plans; a farm management system, with farmers’ field maps, production plans, and a system to monitor farmers’ diaries; and an agriculture advisory system with a seasonal crop schedule calendar, guidance on safe food production, weather forecasts, and market information.

Enabling a digital agriculture information system

Our Resilient Mountain Solutions (RMS) initiative has been instrumental in developing the digital agriculture information system in Namobuddha Municipality. The initiative strives to equip mountain communities with context specific, simple, affordable and gender responsive solutions and works to build capacities of local government, institutions, and communities. Digital services and financial safety – key dimensions of the RMS framework – act as both social and economic assets to build resilience. The RMS framework also emphasizes digital solutions and ICT-based agriculture services to enhance access to resources and services, support agriculture development at local levels, and bring about transformative change, particularly among women farmers.

Beginning with Nepal, we plan to scale digital solutions with context specific configurations to other countries in the HKH region, particularly in Bhutan and Myanmar. We aim to develop a regional digital services platform and eventually support governments and engage with the private sector to provide better services to smallholders and help connect them to regional trade networks. To learn more about the kinds of digital services RMS works with, click here.

 

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