We observe that ICT integration into the Ugandan Agricultural sector is still in its infancy stage and the www.wougnet.org implemented ERIGNU project approach is one of the few clear early success stories as evidenced by the Uganda Communication Commission study on the state of ICT4Agric Innovations in Uganda, 2019.
The development and promotion of the ICT web based system powered by www.8technologies.net among the farming communities accompanied by digital skills training has stimulated farmers desire to seek and share information using ICTs, such as social media applications especially WhatsApp and Facebook. The use of these technologies have improved access to extension services as reported by farmers, as farmers now use these platforms to engage duty bearers to deliver services to them. Realizing the need to share information, a number of farmer groups have formed WhatsApp groups to share their experiences and exchange knowledge, which is key for their decision making, like outbreak of pests and diseases and availability of market offers regionally.
The ERIGNU platform features are being referenced by a number of startup ICT4Agric developers to build solutions for agriculture in Uganda, through their regular consultation with the ERIGNU Project. It is important to note that the success of ERIGNU project has enabled the lead ICT researcher to participate on national initiatives aimed at streamlining the integration of ICT in Agriculture in Uganda. Besides, our ICT lead researcher has been selected and participated in the design of the African wide initiative of ICT integration in Agriculture called “AfriDAP” coordinated under RUFORUM and he is on the national task force for CODEDATA Uganda. Hence, the lessons from ERIGNU Project are being used to influence policy and programmes at national and continental levels.
In addition to the newly improved researched seeds by the National Agricultural Research Organization that take very short periods of time to mature and are resistant to diseases and harsh conditions and the new better farming practices introduced, the ICTs deployed in the Northern parts of Uganda has greatly improved livelihood of the rural dwellers through alleviation of hunger and improving on their agricultural incomes.
The ICT web based system has got options for land mapping http://www.erignu.org/system/homepage among a wide range of options with the mobile application http://www.erignu.org/ErignuMobile.apk offering services like , market search and numerous agricultural extension services.
This ICT web based system powered by www.8technologies.net received very many applauds during the country’s National Agricultural Show 2019 from different agricultural exhibitors regionally and internationally.