South Sudan agriculture goes digital

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Agriculture in South Sudan is going digital despite of many years of turbulence. Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has partnered with Digital Green to roll out a digitally enabled extension in South Sudan as the primary extension tool for awareness creation. Digital Green is a not-for-profit international development organization that uses a digital platform for community engagement to improve livelihoods in rural communities across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The organization partners with local public, private and civil society organizations to share knowledge on improved agricultural practices, livelihoods, health and nutrition.

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The training on video production, dissemination and data management in Juba,  South Sudan had trainees drawn from extension staff of nine seed companies. They also included six other organizations that are members of Food Security and Livelihood Cluster that includes FAO, RUCAP, ZOA among others. After the training, trainees produced two videos on groundnut harvesting and maize row planting that they will use to train farmers once they return to their locations. The training conducted at Quality hotel in Juba was opened by Justin Miteng the country manager for AGRA. Henry Kinyua the Head of East Africa for Digital Green led the team that comprised trainers from Digital Green Ethiopia office.

The aim is to partner with and train agricultural extension service providers to produce, disseminate, and monitor the impact of short, locally-relevant videos that share knowledge and prompt adoption of low cost, high productivity, and sustainable agricultural practices. This approach is expected to assist seed companies to organize agronomic knowledge and farmer engagement methods across large and dispersed grassroots-level teams; increase the consistency of extension message creation and delivery, and provide data and feedback with which to assess and track extension agent performance. 

“Trainees expressed their excitement about their newly acquired skills in video production and dissemination and are confident that it will enable them to reach more farmers with these videos,” says Henry Kinyua, the Head of Digital Green in East Africa.

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The training is expected in the long term to play a role in improving the situation in the country that has faced extreme hunger this year.

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