The potential impact of mobile phone application in agroecological transitioning in southeast Nigeria

Ezinne Merianchris Emeana, Liz Trenchard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding

Abstract

Farmers’ transition to agro-ecology is an ambitious challenge requiring a concerted effort to upscale adoption. Information communication technology (ICT) plays a significant role in improving smallholder farmer’s livelihoods by linking them to markets, access to weather forecasts, agricultural techniques and other essential services. Hence, the application of ICTs such as mobile phones could address the challenges of transition towards agro-ecology. Nigeria is amongst the sub-Saharan countries where agro-ecology is yet to gain a foothold. Mobile phone companies have invested extensively in Nigeria taking advantage of the huge population which was estimated at 191 million in 2017, resulting in improved access to mobile and internet facilities. Hence, Nigeria appears set for a pioneering revolution in ICT application for agro-ecology transition. In a six month pilot, a mobile phone-enabled platform known as SmartAgroecology was developed with 30 farmers and 20 extension personnel purposively selected for the study. Using a focus group discussion, the participants’ perception of agro-ecology and the information delivery through the platform was assessed and the limitation to the application’s wider use evaluated. Although there were socioeconomic barriers to the application’s wider use, access to information about agro-ecology practices improved and farmers are willing to adopt the practices using the platform irrespective of their
circumstances and information sources. The application enhanced farmers and extension personnel training through information exchange. The study recommends unified efforts by all stakeholders in promoting initiatives that promote agro-ecology, whilst emphasising on efficiency and sustainability of
such initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication13th European IFSA Symposium - Farming systems: facing uncertainties and enhancing opportunities.
PublisherIFSA Europe Group
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event13th European IFSA Symposium: Farming systems: facing uncertainties and enhancing opportunities - Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Chania, Crete, Greece
Duration: 1 Jul 20185 Jul 2018
Conference number: 13th
http://www.ifsa2018.gr/
http://www.ifsa2018.gr

Conference

Conference13th European IFSA Symposium
CountryGreece
CityChania, Crete
Period1/07/185/07/18
Internet address

Keywords

  • Mobile phone-enabled application
  • Agro-ecology transitioning
  • Nigeria

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  • Cite this

    Emeana, E. M., & Trenchard, L. (2018). The potential impact of mobile phone application in agroecological transitioning in southeast Nigeria. In 13th European IFSA Symposium - Farming systems: facing uncertainties and enhancing opportunities. IFSA Europe Group.