Information and communication technology (ICT) has gained significance in recent years in the agricultural and educational sectors of developing countries. ICT and Knowledge Management tools are helping Women in Business Development Inc. (WIBDI) to manage the establishment and growth of a national Organic Farm-to-Table Academy in Samoa.
Since 2016, WIBDI has been offering a training programme for youth, officially called the Engaging Youth in Samoa in Organic Farming and Menus: a Farm-to-Table Value Chain Approach. The programme promotes youth employment in the region. Though WIBDI provides training all year round, there was not a real way to gather information or to track the students (the farmers). In order to categorise information generated by this program, CTA supported the development of online ICT tools to manage the Academy students and provide better monitoring and evaluation tools.
ICT Knowledge Platform to support Organic Warriors Academy
The tools comprise a Student Registry, a Unit Registry and an electronic roll, which is accessible to the WIBDI team and allows for more efficient payment of student stipends. It also includes a reporting e-form able to give both qualitative and quantitative information to the WIBDI management team in order to better support the training staff. The project also included the development of a Planning e-form that assists in resource requests, budgeting and planning as well as in creating a prototype of resources required to teach the course.
According to the Project Manager Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i, these tools have an important impact on WIBDI’s activities. “We are putting information that was previously manually recorded into digital format. Thanks to the software we developed, the Academy is able to manage information about the students. All the information is centralised in a single database. The software helps the administration track the students and know how many units they have taken and participated in.”
Organic Farm-to-Table App for Tourists
With the support of CTA, WIBDI has implemented the development of other mobile applications. The “Organic Farm-to-Table App” lets tourists and local residents find and select restaurants that serve organic food. This contributes to more efficiency, transparency and accountability of WIBDI activities.
Database to manage organic certification schemes
At the same time, Women in Business WIBDI in Samoa are developing a mobile application to support the distribution process and improve communications and management. The current service is being used to visit farms for certification and to run the farm to table contract. These latest enhancements also provide a farm wallet to monitor finance and credit to the farmers.
With CTA supports, WIBDI developed a data system to run their certification scheme for 700 farms across Samoa and to support with the use of mobiles and tablets the delivery system to provide farmers with markets in hotels and restaurants. The use of ICT technologies by WIBDI makes the management of data more easy and efficient. The digitalisation of the data allows WIDBI to analyse them and to better plan future trainings.
- Women in Business Development Inc - Samoa