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Capacity Building on the Use of Landinfo Mobile App Technology for Extension Agents and Technical Advisors of Fiber Crops Directorate of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority (AFFA), Kenya

Project Duration: 2015-

Contacts: Dr. Nicholas Ozor, Executive Director, ATPS

Email: executivedirector@atpsnet.org 

Programme Coordinator: Ernest Nti Acheampong

Background

The increasingly complex challenges of urbanization, land degradation and climate change that confront agricultural land in Africa have prompted stakeholders to rethink current land use mechanisms, and devise innovative measures that optimize agricultural productivity and sustainable land management practices. Access to accurate, robust, and timely information and knowledge of land potential will prove to be highly valuable in supporting farm decision-making and land use planning for agricultural production and climate change adaptation. In this light, the African Technology Policy Studies Network in collaboration with our partners the United States Department for Agriculture (USDA) among others have developed an innovative mobile phone application called the LandInfo that allows individuals and organizations to use a mobile phone to determine land potential at a specific location based on local and global knowledge and information. A shared knowledge and understanding of land potential by governments, farmers, pastoralists, and development workers through application of the LandInfo app for decision making has the capacity to sustainably increase agricultural production and pastureland restoration.

Project Aim: The overall purpose of this initiative is to build and up-scale the use of LandInfo app for data and information generation, to inform decision-making on diverse land management practices. Specifically, the project aims- to develop the capacity of stakeholders to understand and effectively use the LandInfo app through a series of training workshops; to conduct a regional learning and policy advocacy forum to legitimize the LandInfo app technology and to facilitate regional initiatives and investments in the project going forward; and to develop and strengthen relationship and networks with other institutions and knowledge platforms for out-scaling the application of LandInfo app to generate information, building database and gaining knowledge on land use potential and climate resilience in the entire continent.

Training Methods

The workshop will combine participatory, interactive and field demonstration approaches to engage participants in order to attain absolute exposition of the LandInfo components, functions and application on the field. Through this approach participants will have a very good insight about both the theoretical insights that informs the LandInfo app as well as gain practical experience. During the on-site demonstration, participants will have firsthand interaction with the LandInfo app which is available on Google Play of android based mobile phones. Participants will have the opportunity to go through the LandInfo app step by step, to data on site observation of the land cover and use, slope, slope shape, soil erosion, runoff and soil conditions. Field Demonstration will entail the excavation of soil (up to 1 meter depth) to allow for the description of surface and subsurface texture. This activity also allows participants to identity the type of soils at each layer through soil texture analysis. At the end of the demonstration, participants will gain understanding and knowledge on how to use the LandInfo app to obtain data and take genuine and evidence based farm and pasture decisions to increase agricultural productivity especially in the face of climate change and environmental challenges.

Outcomes

  • Participants will deepen their knowledge of biophysical characteristics of soils, vegetation and land potentials
  • Participants will gain knowledge on the LandInfo mobile app operation and its application on the field
  • The training workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to broaden options with regards to decisions on interventions and management of agricultural lands.
  • Participants will gain insight into the capabilities and limitations of LandInfo app
  • Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to future app development by providing valuable feedback

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African Technology Policy Studies Network | Capacity Building on the Use of Landinfo Mobile App Technology for Extension Agents and Technical Advisors of Fiber Crops Directorate of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority (AFFA), Kenya

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