IFAD funds ICT4D exchange programme in Kenya 

.LIFE-ND NPC develops Step-down Implemention Plan 


By Raymond Benson
It was all cross-fertilisation of ideas on Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D), in Nairobi, Kenya as International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a United Nations agency for eradication of hunger and poverty in developing nations, funded this exchange programme.
The exchange programme which was organised for the staffers of Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises, Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Federal Ministry of Finance, including sister project staff of Value Chain Development Programme, VCDP, was to adopt various ICT4D tools in the implemention and operations of the projects for the ease of doing business.

Narrating his experience, the Abia State Project Coordinator, Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu, Ph.D., CEnv. said, “We were introduced into the project to adopt a lot of ICT4D tools in their operations, essentially, the e-voucher and other ICT4D platforms the project had developed which have enhanced their activities a lot, especially the impact of doing businesses and ease of implemention, using ICT4D tools.”
Speaking about the e-voucher, Dr. Onyeizu commended its adoption in LIFE-ND Project, noting that the tool would create ease of implementation and transparency, purchase of inputs and distribution to the beneficiaries.
Also, he said the tool would allow the beneficiaries to directly assess agric inputs from the agro dealers to their farms at their convenience.
Abia State Project Coordinator, LIFE-ND, Uchenna Rowland Onyeizu, Ph.D, CEnv.


To start the pilot implemention, Dr. Onyeizu said, “Abia LIFE-ND has had some significance in terms of ICT4D.
“We already have some incubatees who’ve been trained in ICT4agriculture
“At the end of the exchange visit, one of the things that we decided was for us to pilot such in Abia State, of which we’ll soon start after necessary assessments and baseline surveys  that we need to take before we do that.
“This will mean mainstreaming and incorporating these tools on what we do on daily basis.”

Allaying the fears of ICT4D challenges to the rural people whose devices are less sophisticated, Dr. Onyeizu explained that the tool has innate “adoptability and flexibility”, operations, through SMS messages, adding that the Kenyans, through their “Villager Volunteers” interpret the information to rural farmers using local languages.
To integrate ICT4D tool in LIFE-ND Project, the National Project Coordinator, Engr. Sanni Abiodun at end of the exchange programme, developed a plan to guide the adoption and implementation of the tool in the mainstream of the project.
Engr. Abiodun who is expected to lead the process “had identified time limit for each of the activities and who should lead” in stepping down these initiatives and new developments.


Raymond Benson is Abia LIFE-ND, Knowledge Management Officer.