From the XX and even more the XXI century onwards, the free movement of people, good and services became gradually understood. The Covid-19 crisis affected our lives, our habits, our production methods and of course it had some negative effects on that freedoms.
Specifically to precision agriculture, the crisis exacerbated already existing challenges. The Precision Agriculture Development (PAD) is giving two different replays to limit pandemic negative effects.
The PAD, as part of the Uganda Coffee Agronomy Training (UCAT) program, is providing a Question and Answer service through an interactive platform called “Interactive Voice Response (IVR)”, giving farmers the possibility to send recorded questions which are answered directly via mobile phone call by an agronomist. In this sense, PAD is involved in an instant solution to reduce informational gaps which never stopped affecting farmers.
Furthermore, PAD is conducting a phone survey in selected countries, to understand and inform policy makers with regards to the dimensions of pandemic effects on agricultural production, food security and behaviour and, subsequently, direct policies in a certain direction. In addition, it is collecting data from agro-dealers to monitor COVID-19 effects on agricultural supply chain.
The PAD case shows us that digital connections can be essential short-term remedies in case of needs. But it also shows that, if reconstruction-phase is the opportunity to compare old and new challenges, digital connections may become also structured long-term solutions, filling traditional gaps affecting precision agriculture sector.
For more information about PAD response to Covid-19 visit this link.