Integration of Cyber Extension and Green Business Cooperatives: An Extension Model for the Improvement of Livelihoods of Smallholder Farmers in Ambo District, Ethiopia

Paul Mansingh, Firafis Haile, Tura Ganya


Agriculture in Ethiopia is the foundation of the country’s economy. Even though technological advancements have soared in recent decades, it has been far slow to reach Ethiopia and its 15 million smallholder farmers. Therefore, the country will need to invest heavily to disseminate the knowledge and new technology to farmers with the aim to improve its yield. Information Communication Technology (ICT) based agricultural extension and advisory service is one of the innovative extension approaches. In Ethiopia, most of the Farmers Training Centres (FTCs) are not connected to modern ICT infrastructure and services. The low level of access to ICT infrastructure is also believed to have slowed the sharing and exchange of knowledge and information generated from research centres at national and regional levels. In this respect, the challenge is how to make ICT services both affordable and available in venues or modes that are convenient to smallholder farmers. This project is serving the information needs of small farmers and other rural poor in the field of agriculture and rural development in areas around Ambo University, Ambo, Ethiopia by an innovative model integrating Cyber Extension and Green Business Cooperatives. The project is implemented on a pilot basis at Farmers Training Centre, Awaro, Ambo District.

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