AGRO-LITE CONNECTS…creating a platform for sharing sustainable crop protection intelligence and diffusion network.
AGRO-LITE CONNECTS “SMART APP and Website” brings unprecedented access and translation of sustainable crop protection innovations in over 2,000 local languages across sub-Sahara Africa with audio records and video available for download. Nwonu Paschal Chidi, Founder & CEO initiated this brand in technology transfer with a passion to “face and combat the challenges of abysmally low levels of literacy, language barrier and poor distribution” of content on sustainable crop protection innovations. Across Africa, we have so many diverse cultural practices, we speak so many languages and each country has their uniqueness that you can only feel by interacting with the people in their mother tongue. Thus, with our team of experts across sub-Sahara African we can be able to arrest this conditional barrier and fill in the gap of inadequate extension delivery services in the region.
Upfront challenges facing crop protection include overall low levels of knowledge, understanding, and uptake of new agricultural technologies aggravated by lack of connection between farmers and the stakeholders/provider of these innovations; and incompatibility of current education, training, and extension structures with little innovative approaches to knowledge transfer which leads to agricultural development. In the midst of many available but not fully accessible crop protection technologies; there is high pest and disease pressure that agriculture has to cope with in sub-Sahara Africa. But for technology to be adopted, it needs to be adapted to the local conditions. Simply put, farmers need simplified applications they can handle and finance, and they feel comfortable using and accessing at their disposal. Agro-lite Connects “SMART App and website” tries to help here, for instance, by offering access and know-how for appropriate technologies, notably for crop protection.
Also for a long time, crop protection research mainly focused on the curative control of pests, diseases and weeds with little innovation brand on knowledge transfer and sharing. Research was primarily mono-disciplinary and cause-effect oriented, and adoption of single-component technologies such as new resistant crop varieties or agrochemicals. This resulted in a growing awareness that more comprehensive changes in crop production systems are needed to achieve sustainable crop protection innovations. Consequently, this led to suggestions for a shift from technology-oriented approaches to more systems-oriented approaches that consider innovation as a combination of technological and social-cultural approach which advances across different levels of region to support integrated and holistic approach to crop protection system.
However, lack of access to good knowledge of sustainable crop protection has caused over millions losses in crop yield and quality in sub-Sahara Africa. The lost in quality of crops produced in Africa due to disease and pest attack has suffered rejection in the international market especially in the European market where quality assurance is the key determinant. This has caused vicious circle for the vulnerable African smallholder farmers to come out of poverty.
Therefore, our company focuses on becoming the largest information management system and platform for knowledge sharing (both codified and tacit knowledge) that is shaped by interactions between actors and institutions inside and outside the agricultural sector in sub-Sahara Africa. Codified knowledge from the stakeholders, researchers and educational institutions shall be decoded and translated to the local language and make it available and accessible for the farmers’ download. Whereas, tacit knowledge generated from the local farmers will be encoded and transmitted to the researchers and the stakeholders for evaluation and policy inferring. In a nut shell, our App and website shall be programmed to decode the codified knowledge/innovations from the researchers in local languages for farmers’ easy access and utilization. Whereas the tacit knowledge originating from farmers based on their local situation will be encoded and made available to researchers for further evaluation and development. This shall elicit participatory research that seeks to foster joint learning between researchers, extension personnel, farmers and other value chain actors as a basis for sustainable crop protection and agricultural development. This is anticipated to create a strong linkage between all the actors involved in achieving sustainable crop protection for easy diffusion network.
To get this innovation started, I and my team have engaged experts on software development to ensure that good result is achieved as regard the development of this high potential innovative project.
Conclusively, Agro-lite Connects is a platform that promotes lesson learning through sharing of experiences and professional interaction, and improving smallholder farmers’ access to agricultural service on crop protection at affordable price. The Agro-lite Connect Audio app shall be made compatible on a variety of systems, with easy payment methods. These companion measures will ensure access to better and cheaper crop protection innovations and provide efficient channels for disseminating these technologies at token prices.
Nwonu Paschal Chidi, Nigeria