Gov’t launches digital agriculture platform to enhance production

Gov’t launches digital agriculture platform to enhance production

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Josephine Lagu, called for rapid digitalisation of the agriculture sector to increase youth participation.

Lagu, who was speaking during the launch of digital agriculture platforms on Monday, said the country must embrace technology to ensure high production.  

“Ladies and gentlemen, without doubt, the future of agriculture in South Sudan is going to be underpinned by digitalisation on the one hand and increased participation by the youth on the other,” she said.

“For agriculture to transform to the next level, it must also be science-based, youth-driven and, more importantly, digitalized,’’ she added.  

The digital package is composed of an E-registry and Voucher Management system, an E-extensions and Weather Advisory Mobile Platform as well as a seed Management system.

It aims at creating a harmonised database for farmers in the country and helping in the disbursement of farm inputs not forgetting the e-extensions and weather advisory services to farmers.

According to the minister, South Sudan has been suffering from low agricultural productivity.

She added that her ministry has been mandated with the transformation of agriculture, from subsistence farming to commercialized farming to achieve food sufficient.

According to Lagu, the platforms would capture beneficiary biodata, demographic data, fingerprints, and among others.

 “Data will be captured through various approaches including a mobile-based application especially in remote areas while offline and later synced to the database once the tablet is connected to the internet, web application,’’ Lagu said.

Meshack Malo, a representative of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, said the launch of the digital ecosystem is part of ongoing efforts of the FAO to ensure South Sudan is not left behind in the digital world.

“As FAO we believe that the future of farming lies in e-agriculture and technological innovations and the digital ecosystem we are launching today is part of our ongoing efforts to ensure South Sudan is not left behind in the digitalization process,” Malo said.

He explained that in the unpredictable weather patterns occasioned by climate change, the E-extension and Weather Advisory Platform are also key in a mobile-based platform to facilitate dissemination of extension services.