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ICT4BXW – Citizen Science and ICT for advancing the prevention and control of Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW) in East and Central Africa

Research domain:
Livelihoods in rural areas

Project duration:
01.08.2018 - 30.06.2021

The goal of this project is to use citizen science and ICT to develop (cost-) effective and scalable tools for advancing the prevention and control of Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW) in East and Central Africa. This project uses ICT tools to collect such data from extension providers and farmers to (1) develop an early warning system to prevent the further spread of BXW, and (2) provide them with decision-support on (cost-) effective BXW control. The project will take place in Rwanda, although scaling actors from DR Congo, Burundi and Uganda will be involved. This project advances science from ‘proof of concept’ to the ‘piloting’ phases.

Five core outputs of the project will be: 1) an inventory of knowledge needs and communication preferences of extension providers and farmers of different socio-economic status, gender and age, and an analysis of the networks through which they access knowledge and services; 2) functional mobile phone-based ICT applications that are used by extension providers and farmers for targeted and cost-effective BXW control; 3) an early warning system that supports governments in making investment decisions in preventing BXW spread; 4) strengthened partner collaboration and knowledge exchange networks for BXW control and prevention; and 5) science-based evidence of the return on investment, impact and scalability of the project approach and tools developed. In addition the project will enhance awareness among extension providers and farmers on BXW disease and its prevention and control.

IAMO provides cutting-edge expertise on social network analysis (SNA) and geo information systems (GIS), needed to (a) identify crucial actors for dissemination of knowledge on BXW control, (b) to develop an early warning system for BXW spread and prevention, and (c) Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning of (cost-)efficient knowledge exchange between extension providers and farmers. IAMO will supervise the SNA/ GIS PhD-researcher from Rwanda and thus contribute to local capacity building.

Partners

  • Coordination: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Website
  • Bioversity International Website
  • Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), Germany
  • Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) Website
  • Smallholder farmers (of different socio-economic status, gender and age groups)
  • Private sector actors (ICT developers and mobile phone service providers)

Qualification Works

The following theses are part of the project:

  • Social Network Analysis for effective knowledge exchange and decision making in agricultural practices: the case of Banana Xanthomas Wilt prevention and control in Rwanda (Carried out by: Michel Kabirigi)