Impacting agropastoral sector in the North West region through the use of ict


The programme has so far been able to interest more than 415 youths in various activities ranking on Animal and Crop Production(Pig, Poultry, Non-conventional livestock, Maize Production, Market gardening) and Service Provider ( Animal feed, Phyto sanitary, Specialized restaurant, Farm construction, Juice production, transportation) in the North west region.

 The Youth Agro pastoral Entrepreneurship (AEP-Youth) Program thought it wise to accompany the youths of this region through entrepreneurial and Leadership skills where, they could put in place their own business structure/enterprise with the help of business counselor . Over the past four years, there has been in remarkable growth in creation of enterprises in the NWR. Even though today the creation of enterprises is at a drop due to socio political challenges. The Young Agropastoral Entrepreneurs remained resilient and continued their activities despite the security challenges through the use of ICT in their various activities.

Using ICT to Present and Commercialize Agro pastoral products and Services

The Smart-phone remains the most highly used ICT tools by NW AEP-Youth to commercialize their products. Their customers contacted the Entrepreneurs on these media platforms, passed their commands and paid up fronts using Mobile money networks before harvesting was done. The social media network had been implanted years back and has greatly improved the sales of their agric products and services. We identified 3 very popular ones; Bridge Africa, whatsapp, AEP Youth network. Through these social media platforms, most exposed their varieties of agro- pastoral products.

Enhancing Agricultural Value Chains through ICT

 Small-scale farmers in Africa and Cameroon in particular, often say receiving low prices for their agro-pastoral produce is a major challenge. Typically, in the NWR farmers waited for traders to visit their farms and purchase the farm produce. The buyer offers a low price and won’t buy the entire crop. These local farmers in rural settings often turned to be unhappy- their time and effort are not well-rewarded. They often blame the traders for their problems and in most cases, misunderstanding comes over prices. This misunderstanding often came up because they (Young Agropastoral Entrepreneurs) lacked information about market prices for their agro pastoral products. E.g. they may not know how much their produce really worth and how much they could end if they transported their output to a nearby market rather than selling to a trader in the farm. They may not know who the other players in the markets are; may not know what types of products consumer want;

With the Digitalization of Agriculture, they now easily get information on market prices using their smart phones, they are part of Farmers network youth groups where they gather information and build relationships with different links in value chain within the local level. Some Youths supply their chicken out of the NWR. That it is through this Social Media Network of Youth farmer (AEP-Youth WhatsApp group) that they contact buyers out of the NWR. This has greatly impact on their outputs and Profits. 

Building Relationships with Other farmers through the ICT

AEP-Youth recognized the role the ICT has been playing with regard relationship building. Through social media network, most of AEP-youth have built excellent relationships with trusted suppliers of seeds and fertilizers; sound knowledge of food stuff prices in markets, access to cultivation information and best farming practices and an overall reduction in labour costs and wastage. Most AEP-Youth beneficiaries acknowledged that, it was through such relations, other farmers on the media group with them gave them information on best time to irrigate, when to apply fertilizers and other crop husbandry advices. Today, they use the appropriate fertilizers and at the right time with less water.

Despite the socio-political situation in the NWR, and persistent network problems, these youths continue with their activities, giving a good reason for the programme to regularly support their efforts.

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