Improving access to information for rural and agricultural development using ICTs in northern Uganda: Lessons and experiences

Access to information by rural farming communities is one of the major constraints to agricultural development in Uganda because of inadequate extension service delivery. The use of information communications technologies (ICTs) can potentially leverage this bottleneck. Although the application of ICTs in rural development is not new, its application in a particular setting makes it a unique experience. The Women of Uganda Network.(WOUGNET) initiated a project in 2005 to improve access to information through use of ICTs by rural women in Apac District, Northern Uganda. In this paper experiences learnt from the innovative application of ICTs in accessing Agricultural information are shared. To date, women farmers can access information on markets, improved farming methods and development information through use of mobile phones and radios. There are however still major challenges in the skills level of the target group, the type of content and costs involved in the use of the ICT tools.
L’accès à l’information par les communautés agricoles rurales est l’un des principaux obstacles au développement agricole en Ouganda à cause de la prestation de service de vulgarisation insuffisante. L’utilisation des technologies de l’information et des communications (TIC) peuvent potentiellement tirer parti de ce goulot d’étranglement. Bien que l’application des TIC dans le développement rural ne soit pas nouvelle, son application dans un contexte particulier, la rend une expérience unique en son genre. Le réseau des femmes Ougandaises (Women of Uganda Network : WOUGNET) a lancé un projet en 2005 pour améliorer l’accès à l’information grâce à l’utilisation des TIC par les femmes rurales dans le district d’Apac, dans le Nord de l’Ouganda. Dans ce document, les leçons tirées de l’application innovatrice des TIC dans l’accès à l’information agricole sont partagées. À ce jour, les femmes-agriculteurs peuvent accéder à l’information sur les marchés, sur les méthodes agraires améliorées et à l’information sur le développement grâce à l’utilisation des téléphones portables et des radios. Il ya cependant encore des défis importants dans le niveau de compétences du groupe cible, le type de contenu et coûts liés à l’utilisation des outils TIC.
Lessons and experiences
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Printed resource

About the RUFORUM 2010 Biennal Conference
"The 2010 RUFORUM Biennial Conference was the second in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholders in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme of Information Systems"