ABOUT THE RESOURCE
In less than a year (2012/13) the service, which uses smart phones and other technology, helped more than 850 farmers in Kasese District (Western Region) to find solutions to plant diseases. Working through Busongora Rural Information Centre (BRIC), a community library, RIC-NET equipped 20 volunteer plant doctors (agricultural extension workers who provide practical advice to farmers) with smart phones. They use the smart phones to take photographs of diseased plants, and send them to experts who identify problems and offer solutions via email or mobile phone text messages (SMS). The service also trained over 112 farmers and other community members to use computers, and set up a web-portal for farmers with links to agricultural information and support agencies.
The service was initiated with support from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) in April 2012. This two-page case study is based on impact assessment conducted by the library in April 2013.