On August 1st -3rd 2018, M-Omulimisa together with other partners convened a 3 day training workshop in Lira District of Kampala, Uganda. This was in preparation for the implementation of community activities in the upcoming farming season.  The training was meant to equip village agents with resources (knowledge and technical skills) to be able to serve the targeted smallholder farmers. As such, specific awareness and skills re-awakening had to be done engaging the village agents so that they can timely resolve farmer’s needs with minimal intervention from the supporting organizations. Additionally, the agents had to receive their M-Omulimisa tool kits which included a Mobile telephone, a back pack bag, a farmer registry book and a T-Shirt for easy identification.

This training was guided by the following objectives;

  1. Equip village agents with technical skills to use M-Omulimisa technologies (farmer profiling, input request on behalf of farmers, agriculture insurance via the USSD app)
  2. Build the confidence of the supervisors to respond to the village agents needs as they arise
  3. Facilitate the achievement of a shared understanding between the village agents and M-Omulimisa on the expectations from either party and the business nature of the partnership
  4. Train Village agents on improved Legume and cereal production
  5. Train village agents on Farmer profiling and demand aggregation using the new smartphone based system
  6. Train village agents on Group formation, mobilization and financial literacy
  7. Support the participating bodies (Village agents, IIRR,IITA, M-Omulimisa) to develop a focused work plan on the implementation of this project for the next 6 months
  8. Formalise the device payback contract between M-Omulimisa  and the village agents

The training was made possible by the support availed to M-Omulimisa innovation team by ResilientAfrica Network (RAN). The USAID/LAB/CDI is partnering with RAN LAB to provide support services to 2 locally based innovations in Uganda which include Akorion and M-Omulimisa. The projects were selected because their work aligns with key objectives within the Uganda Mission Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) 2016 -2021 advancing them on their pathway to scale.

RAN’s Multimedia Officer was able to capture some videos and photos which will be used develop a short documentary on m-Omulimisa. It was also an opportunity for the RAN team to re-emphasize the need and share skills with the m-Omulimisa innovation team for systematic documentation throughout the community engagement and entire innovation process.

Brief About m-Omulimisa Innovation Project

m-Omulimisa is a mobile and web-based platform that enables farmers to exchange information with extension officers in their local languages for free. The platform integrates human mediation and text messaging to create a mobile and web-based consultation space. The system leverages the ubiquitous presence of mobile phones to improve farmers’ access to extension services as well as their (extension services) efficiency and effectiveness. Farmers can use their phones to ask questions in languages that they understand, and receive feedback from extension officers via text messages. Some of the key partnerships include nonprofit organizations providing conventional agricultural extension services such as World Vision Uganda, Sasakawa Global 2000 and District Local Governments. They leverage their well-established networks with farmers and extension officers to mobilize and train farmers.

More pictures from this engagement are shared on https://photos.app.goo.gl/5dDbe7wTdtzrGhw86.