Towards an efficient post Covid-19 ict based extension service delivery model for the sugar industry of eSwatini
Keywords:ICT, mobile phones, COVID-19,, sugar industry
This study presents a designed ICT based extension service delivery system for the sugar industry of Eswatini. The model is an improvement of the current system and it presents a delivery system that is void of many limitations. This model emanates from findings of a survey which involved all smallholder sugarcane farmers (N=172) and their extension officers (N=17). The survey investigated how information and knowledge are currently managed within the sugar industry. Basically, the model revolves around the use of mobile phones to relay information among the sugar industry stakeholders in a timely, more organised, productive and cost-effective ways, without contravention of the COVID-19 pandemic protocols. Sugarcane stakeholders can now be able to exchange information using the model without having to meet physically, which is what most of the traditional approaches required. The exchange of information can be in a form of voiced, pre-recorded information in the form of texts, audio, or audio visuals. This would go a long way in enhancing smallholder farmer’s productivity as it has the potential of empowering more rural sugarcane farmers with crucial information for improved productivity. The model has the potential to sustain itself as the participation of the stakeholders is promoted.
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