Mobile app places digital agriculture in the hands of small farmers in Trinidad and Tobago
Port of Spain, 11 March 2022 (IICA). Farmers in Trinidad and Tobago now have access to a mobile app that facilitates traceability and allows them to record their production and financial practices, thus contributing to more efficient and sustainable management of their activities.
The app is a collaborative effort of the Cropper Foundation, the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), with the support of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) of Trinidad and Tobago.
The app was presented during a webinar, in which farmers who had taken part in testing the technology spoke about the benefits of the app for their daily work. Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat, was also in attendance.
FarmVue was developed as part of joint efforts to improve the life of Trinidadian farmers, by incorporating digital technology, with funding by the Innovation Lab of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Lab). The focus is on small farmers and the aim is to provide resources and develop capacities to increase the profitability, environmental sustainability and socioeconomic equality of agricultural activity.
FarmVue assists small farmers to access electronic platforms where they can document and keep records of their planting and harvesting activities, inputs used, costs and sales.
The app is also extremely useful for farmer organizations, which can use it to analyze data and to make evidence-based decisions, to facilitate greater productivity and sustainability.
The app underwent extensive testing in 2021 to determine usefulness, functionality and user friendliness and to be further fine-tuned, thanks to the participation of farmers in Trinidad and Tobago.
Minister Rambharat underscored the fact that the mobile app is in keeping with the digital transformation agenda, which is one of Trinidad and Tobago’s challenges.
He said that, “In agriculture, technology is key, for example, to tackle the effects of climate change. We are convinced that only training and increased digital resources will enable our agriculture sector to grow”.
Rambharat also emphasized the importance of connectivity to facilitate market access for remote rural communities and to anticipate weather phenomena that are becoming increasingly extreme and more frequent, due to climate change, and that severely impact agriculture.
Diana Francis, IICA Representative in Trinidad and Tobago, acknowledged that, “The creation of this app is only one step in the major digital transformation occurring in the agrifood sector. We know that in rural areas there are still small farmers who do not have adequate internet service nor do they possess the basic knowledge needed to access these digital technologies”.
“We were conscious of this reality while we were developing FarmVue, so we tried to make it accessible whenever and wherever it was needed, which for farmers is usually when they are working in the field. Therefore, it can be used offline as well, since many farmers do not have internet on their farms”.
Institutional Communication Division.