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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

E-Zaraat, Agricultural extension turns to tablets

E-Zaraat, Agricultural extension turns to tablets

Working in partnership with the Punjab Department of Agriculture, with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), CABI has designed and piloted an IT based system to support extension activities in three districts, in order to extend this reach. In one of the districts, Vehari, a full-scale pilot was conducted between 2011 and 2013 involving extension staff from headquarters down to field level. 

E-plant clinics, pre-pilot, India.

E-Zaraat - Agricultural extension turns to tablets

ICT- based services in Pakistan's Vehari district improved the reach and efficiency of extension services and gave farmers improved advice on good agricultural practice. Improved data captured from tablet computers allowed better monitoring of how, where and when staff were helping smallholder farmers. 

Trialling data collection and sending SMS recommendations with tablet computers at Varagur plant clinic in Tamil Nadu, India

Advisory messages available to over 50,000 farmers in the Vehari district

450 different messages containing information on the management of several different crops are now available to over 50,000 farmers in the district, with further plans to raise the number of benefitting farmers to over 30%. 

Wheat fields in Pakistan

Farmers produced more wheat with technology 

Effective use of GPS tracking of devices meant that locations specific information could be sent to field staff, meaning that they were able to respond when crops could be lost, based on the tailored information that they were sent. 

District Officer in Machiwal, Vehari

Technology improved communication between extension workers and field staff

Before the introduction of the tablet technology, it took weeks for information to come from extension workers to the field staff that needed it. With the new developments, crucial information can be passed to the field staff within a matter of hours.