Papua New Guinea
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Enhancing farmers' digital skills

Spearheaded by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), this initiative aims to enhance agribusiness development and foster economic growth by providing essential digital tools and knowledge to farmers.

The Sepik region, renowned for its fertile lands and vibrant farming communities, has faced challenges due to limited access to digital resources and skills. In response, the EU-STREIT PNG Programme, under the ITU's guidance, is bridging the digital divide by empowering lead farmers with various aspects of digital literacy.

This includes the effective use of smartphones, mobile applications, and other digital resources to enhance agricultural practices, market access, and decision-making capabilities, all while strengthening resilience to climate change.

Recently, two intensive workshops were organized in Vanimo, West Sepik Province, and Maprik in East Sepik Province, where 74 lead farmers and agri-food business actors actively participated. The workshops provided hands-on experiences in various digital applications tailored to the agricultural context.

Farmers learned how to apply basic computing skills, use productivity tools, communicate effectively, utilize social media for e-marketing and mobile payment, and gain insights into agri-meteorological tools and services.

Participants expressed excitement and enthusiasm for the training, recognizing the significant potential it offers for their agribusiness ventures. William Ripai, Chairman of KISE Cooperative Society Ltd in Lumi District, shared how he learned to utilize Microsoft Word and Excel to market their produce more effectively, while Angela Passingan, Chair Lady of BAMA Women’s Group of Ulau Village, witnessed the transformative impact of digital skills on fellow farmers.

As part of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme, 10 resource centres equipped with PCs and VSAT internet connections will be established across the Sepik region. This will ensure farming communities have reliable access to the internet, receive capacity-building digital skills training, and access digital services like e-marketing, strengthening their agribusiness potential.

Kanagat Alyshbaev, the ITU-STREIT Project Officer, emphasized the transformative power of digital skills in agriculture, highlighting the potential for innovation and growth in the agricultural sector. This initiative represents a crucial step towards achieving sustainable and inclusive development in the Sepik region.

By investing in digital skills, the ITU aims to create a ripple effect where lead farmers become agents of change within their communities. As farmers acquire new knowledge and skills, they can inspire and support fellow farmers on the path to digital transformation.