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The concept of HACCP (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points) is gaining prominence in management of mycotoxins and product quality within the food safety systems. HACCP indentifies the procedures/practices along the value chain that are likely to expose the crop to mycotoxin contamination and affect product quality. Once such procedures/practices are identified, Critical Control Points (CCPs) are established.
CCPs within the agricultural value chain generally may refer to the points where controls have to be applied such that hazards can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable (critical) levels within the means of the value chain actor. CCPs could be applied to a number of activities within the agricultural value chain including seed selection, site selection and preparation, timely planting, timely harvesting, drying, sorting and storage and pest and disease control in both crops and animals.
The challenge associated with the implementation HACCP in management of mycotoxins is the need to deliver extension messages on CCPs to individual farmers at the right time. This is seldom possible in conventional extension systems due to inadequate facilitation given to extension staff.
The use of ICT applications to deliver information to farmers through mobile phones has been reported to be cheaper and more practical compared to the conventional extension methods. The technology has been widely used in disseminating marketing information to farmers worldwide. Despite the success of ICTs in marketing, little has been done to harness such potential to address challenges related to crop production and handling. This proposal seeks to explore ways by which ICT applications, including mobile solutions can be used as platforms to increase access to extension information on CCPs.
A team including farmers, agronomists, food scientists, extensionists, mobile application/system developers, and ICT for development experts will work together to develop applications that will deliver simple but practical extension messages for intervention at various CCPs along the value chain.
This project seeks to assist Protected Agriculture (PA) farmers to monitor the growing conditions under protected systems and by so doing implement mitigation strategies that will assist in maintaining crops yields and the profitability of their operations. “PAMS” consists of simple monitoring equipment that records environmental conditions inside the PA system. The information recorded is relayed to an onsite computer. Through a tailor made app, the data would be analysed and the farmer would be alerted when critical thresholds have been exceeded. This information would be sent to a mobile app running on the farmer’s mobile device.
Rwanda has both a very decent level of telecom infrastructure deployment and the presence of a dynamic and financially strong actors owning those infrastructures and seeking growth opportunities within the country. If we use the yardstick of infrastructure usage and level of revenues, disparities between rich urban areas and poorer rural areas are often manifest; driving the latter’s Average Revenue Per User is a challenge that many of the youth’s operators must face in order to improve their business and the growth of their networks. Rwandan rural areas still rely heavily on an agricultural sector whose average productivity does not yet ensure a sufficiently decent level of living for the youth working directly from this activity. Therefore any service that might improve the latter’s population revenue will have an impact on the Rwandan’s economy much beyond the sphere of ICT. The project is centered upon the realization of pilot experimentation within selected rural areas of Rwanda country. For each such area, farmers or fishermen must be able to use their mobile phones, or alternatively a fixed access to the Internet, to retrieve daily updated data related to the price of their produces within major market places of neighboring cities where they usually sell their produces. For an adequate pilot experimentation, the following set of minimal conditions must be met: The involvement of a telecom operator willing to expand and improve the mobile radio coverage of the concerned zone if needed,The articulation of the experimentation with existing commercial exchange patterns between the concerned populations and the market places that will be covered and An adequate training of the youth-users regarding the use of the provided service and a close observation of their usage patterns by a trained personnel.