This is the final report of a project to improve livelihoods for farmers in target states in Pakistan using ICTs to improve the reach and monitoring of extension services to the farming community at a lower cost.
During the project the service E-Zaraat (agriculture in Urdu) was developed. It includes a MIS application, consisting of a web interface and mobile application, plus a help line. The application is now live and can be viewed at www.E-zaraat.org. To date: more than 750 Frequently Asked Questions have been developed, with input from workshops; around 450 text and voice messages in Urdu have been developed; more than 100 local champions have been trained to provide local on-site support to other users and more than 80% of the participants rated themselves as ‘confident’ or as ‘very confident’ in using the training material. The criteria used for selection of these local champions included: computer literacy; regular employee of the Agriculture Extension Department; previous experience of preparation of departmental reports; and ability to generate reports through the system.
The introduction to the report describes the importance of agriculture
to Pakistan, the existing extension system in Punjab, the ICT
environment in Pakistan, how linking Punjab extension with ICTs serves
farmers needs, and the model used. Chapter 2 discusses the key
deliverables of the project (E-Zaraat, content development and capacity
building). Chapter 3 presents the follow-on survey used to assess the
use and usefulness of E-Zaraat; identify issues constraining the use of
E-Zaraat; and to suggest recommendations for improving its
effectiveness. Chapters 4-8 cover the Impact of education and literacy
on the use system; Women’s perspective, Issues and suggestions, Way
forward and Conclusions. The report also comprises the following
A – Business analysis
B – User guide E-Zaraat
C – Frequently asked questions
D – Training Report
E – Logical Framework
F – Baseline Survey Report
Mahrukh Siraj; Atiq-ur-Rehman. ICT Based Services for Agriculture Extension - Phase II. Final Report. CABI, Wallingford, UK (2013) 418 pp.