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UN launches US$15M program to digitalize innovation in agriculture

 

Launch of inclusive digital solutions to alleviate challenges faced by farmers in rural communities in Uganda.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | UN through the United Nations Capital development Fund-UNCDF have rolled out a five-year program for promoting digital innovation with the aim of addressing challenges within the agricultural sector especially in rural areas.

The US$ 15-million program is funded by Sweden, a UN member country through its Swedish International Development Corporation Agency.

UNCDF country digital head, Chris Lukolyo, says the program dubbed ‘Leaving no one behind the digital era in Uganda” focuses on establishing an all inclusive innovation strategy where rural communities including women, farmers and refugees among others will have access to and usage of digital platforms to improve their productivity and well being.

Speaking at the launch of the program at Uganda Media Center, Lukolyo noted that they chose Northern Uganda and West Nile as their starting points basing on the fact that they are among the most affected regions when it comes to access to digital innovations.

He said the program will also focus on pushing for an enabling policy and regulatory environment which will ensure that new ideas are tailored to the needs of under served communities in both regions.

Lukolyo says they will establish an open digital payment system where rural dwellers can easily have access to credit and be able to use it to purchase farm inputs among other needs.

They are also going to invest in digital platforms that will help extend advisory and extension services to a wider population, create access to market information and services easy.

Presiding over the launch of the program on behalf of government, the Information, Communication, Technology and National Guidance Minister, Judith Nabakooba noted that the introduction of ICT in the agriculture will help attract more young people into the sector which they have for long ignored as being primitive and backward.

She welcomed the idea of using digital platforms to help farmers find market for their produce saying it will expose them to the global market.

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