Year: 2023 | Month: December | Volume 68 | Issue 4

Capability Enhancement of Agricultural Extension Personnel through ICT Interventions and its Economic Impact in Bangladesh

Md Forhad Rabbi Zafrin Ahmed Liza and M. Shahidur Rahman
DOI:10.46852/0424-2513.4.2023.5

Abstract:

In this paper, we evaluated the performance of various ICT interventions to empower agricultural
extension personnel, especially the Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer (SAAO) and Upazila Agriculture
Officer (UAO), the major stakeholders in Bangladesh’s existing agricultural extension system. It is
usually challenging for extension staff to keep track of their services and get up-to-date agricultural
knowledge in developing nations due to the enormous geographical area and quantity of farmers and
insufficient training and monitoring. Different ICT applications and tools, such as online and offline
agricultural consultation services applications, a digital diary for recording the daily activities of the
SAAOs, a monitoring system for the UAOs, and audiovisual materials have been developed to support
the extension people. The evaluation was done after collecting data from Focus Group Discussions (FGD),
Key Informant Interviews (KII), surveys, and server-side data processing. This study revealed that ICT
applications have increased the knowledge base, efficiency, confidence level, and acceptance of the SAAOs
and improved the financial aspects of the agriculture extension services. Thanks to ICT interventions,
farmers receive timely and quality services from SAAO, leading to increased crop production and a
better lifestyle for farmers.

Highlights

  • Agriculture Extension officers try to reach each farmer in their area and provide advice and suggestions. However, it is hard to reach everyone in person due to the low number of officers and the large number of farmers in large areas
  • ICT interventions like mobile applications for various purposes and audio/visual materials can assist SAAO and UAO.
  • Mobile apps help access modern knowledge of cultivation and reporting day-to-day activities.




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