ICTs have been used for agricultural extension in Ghana for decades. Agricultural radio programs offered by state broadcasters have been produced in Ghana since before independence and remain on the airwaves today.
Many new ICTs have come on the scene in the last 10 plus years, some of them linked to radio, others as stand-alone digital advisory services. There are new ICTs in continuous development with the express aim of meeting farmers’ advisory and extension needs.
But until now the provision of remote-led, technology enabled advisory services has never been guided by a comprehensive strategy and plan that can lead to optimal, effective, sustainable and equitable e-Extension in Ghana. The purpose of this strategy and plan, therefore, is to enable the Ghana’s Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services to develop the policies, institutional arrangements, work plans and budget envelopes needed to optimize the use of transformational e-Extension services to achieve Ghana’s agricultural development and poverty reduction goals by 2030 and beyond.
The overall goal of this strategy and plan is to provide all agricultural producers and value chain actors in Ghana with transformational ICT-driven extension services which are effective, efficient, inclusive, sustainable, demand-driven and pluralistic in a nationally coordinated, decentralized system with the active involvement of the private sector.
As a result of achieving this goal, a significant and growing share of agricultural extension work in Ghana shall be delivered through transformational e-Extension services, defined as remote-led, technology-enabled services for agricultural producers and other value chain actors that use a range of ICT and digital tools and devices, including radio, telephony, video, television, mobile applications and devices, social media, and emerging technologies.
Coordinated and developed by Farm Radio International, the Agriculture E-Extension Services in Ghana: Strategy and Plan 2022-2030 was led with the sound guidance of a steering committee made up of Robert Patrick Ankobiah, Paulina Addy, Anthony Morrison, Bagbara Tanko, Paul Siameh, Dr. King David Kwao Amoah, Francis Kwasi Korankye, Benjamin B. Fiafor, Patricia Blankson Akakpo, Regina Richardson, Alloysius Atta, Joyce Gyekye, Henry Crentsil Jr., Shaibu Muniru, Dr. Simeon Von Salakpi, Angela Dannson, with Rosemond Ohene coordinating the steering committee.
The research behind the strategy and plan was conducted by Dr. Paschal Baylon Atengdem and Dr. Abdul-Nashiri Mohammed. The document was written by Dr. Paschal Baylon Atengdem, Benjamin Fiafor, Charles Tah, and Kevin Perkins.