AgriPath: Empowering farmers’ transition to sustainable agriculture through effective and efficient digital pathways
500 million smallholder farmers need to increase their agriculture productivity, income and climate resilience. There is a lack of scientifically validated evidence on the effectiveness and cost efficiency of digital agriculture services. AgriPath aims to bring sustainable agriculture to scale by identifying, evaluating, and promoting promising pathways for digitally supported agricultural advisory services.
 The Consortium will embrace current concepts of climate resilient agriculture, climate smart agriculture, sustainable land management and agro-ecology.
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural services & market
- Swiss Private Sector
- Swiss Universities or FHS
|Background||The world’s 500 million smallholder farmers produce two-thirds of the food but struggle with low productivity and income, vulnerability to climate change, poor access to information on practices that could help enhance their production, securing their livelihoods and protecting their resource base. Gender equality, in particular, could lead to substantial gains in farm outputs through equal access to, and control over productive resources. Meanwhile, public rural advisory services are dwindling, leaving millions of smallholders without adequate support to face these challenges. In this context, digital agriculture advisory services hold great promise for improving smallholder farmers’ capacity for applying sustainable agriculture practices. Switzerland is currently engaged with different projects to improve the provision of digital agricultural advisory services to smallholder farmers. The respective SDC projects and programmes will thus benefit from synergies and learnings from and with Agripath.|
 Extension agents are responsible for providing advice and information to farmers that will enable them to make informed decisions about a particular innovation, investment or production practice.
§ 50,000 smallholder farmers, with a focus on youth, of which 50% are women
§ 250 extension agents from public and private advisory service providers in five target countries.
Potential additional smallholders farmers adopting sustainable practices thanks to the project could reach 100,000 within the project’s duration (it is expected that each direct beneficiary convinces another two smallholder farmers to use a digital advisory service and to adopt sustainable agriculture practices).
1. 50,000 male and female smallholder farmers have access to evidence-based and tailored advice and adopt sustainable agricultural practices.
2. Ministries of agriculture, the development community and digital advisory service providers in five countries promote evidence-based delivery models to scale-up gender-sensitive digital advisory services for long-term behaviour change towards sustainable agriculture.
- Project implementation partners understand
- The adapted farmbetter app is released in five
- A toolkit for digital advisory services developers,
- Target countries and neighbouring countries are
Results from previous phases: This project builds on an exchange of first insights produced by the implementation partners of the Consortium (Grameen Foundation USA, Grameen Foundation India and farmbetter Ltd), individually experimenting with different delivery models for digital advisory services. Extension based models are costly, but effective in closing the knowledge gap, especially for women. Self-service models providing advice on tailored sustainable agricultural practices for farmers are more cost-efficient, but barriers include low smartphone literacy, the absence or cost of data connectivity and the lack of explanation by extension agents. The vision for developing a cost efficient and effective delivery model has provoked a dialogue between the implementers. The TRANSFORM call for proposal gave them the opportunity, together with Research Institutions, to apply for resources to test and implement their idea.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
Coordination with the Focal Point Food Security, with the regional advisor at the Eastern and Southern Africa Division, as well as with the Asia Division. Diffusion of research results with the Food Security network members.
The project will be coordinated with key strategic actors and initiatives, for example with Alliance for a Green Revolution Africa, CGIAR, FAO and Access Agriculture.
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 5’050’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 1’200’000|