A University of Bern research and innovation project is intended to strengthen sustainable farming methods among smallholder families in Africa and Asia. This is to be accomplished by using digitally supported agricultural extension services. Its overall goal is to improve the families’ productivity, incomes, and climate resilience. The project is being conducted together with international partners and is supported by the TRANSFORM programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Smallholders produce two thirds of all food worldwide, yet the majority of these approximately 500 million farmers lives in poverty. Also, their production is susceptible to the impacts of climate change. At the same time, they have poor access to information on agricultural practices that could help them increase production and conserve resources.
Digitally supported agricultural extension services provide an opportunity to change this. To date, however, they have only reached a small fraction of smallholders in the global South. One way to achieve significant gains in yields and improved living conditions is to involve women and young people: they make up over half the people engaged in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.