A boost for extension workers as POTRAZ gives smart ICT gadgets Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere

Monalisa Chikwengo

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) recently handed over 1 000 laptops to agricultural extension officers as part of the Government’s smart agriculture blueprint aimed at transforming agricultural systems to be more information and communications technology (ICT) based.

These gadgets will enhance record management of land sizes, livestock, and farming activities in each household, plot, or farm.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere, said the gadgets will go a long way in improving efficiency in the provision of agricultural extension services to farmers.

“Proper and accurate record keeping and quick record retrieval through the agricultural information management system will assist in ensuring that Presidential inputs are distributed equitably in line with one’s specific requirements,” he said.

Zimbabwe was nominated to lead the Smart Agriculture flagship under the Smart Africa Alliance, a grouping of 36 African countries working together towards transforming the continent through ICTs and innovation.

“Leading the Smart Africa flagship entails that the nominated country comes up with and implements digital tools and solutions that fall under the respective flagship in its own country to then be replicated by other countries,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Devlopment, Mr Vangelis Haritatos, who received the computers on behalf of the Ministry said this gesture will go a long way in revolutionising and enabling adoption of other smart agriculture technologies to ease the burden of doing agriculture business.

“The Ministry will deploy this ICT equipment to the neediest units that I know whose occupancy will be overjoyed as their work-streams would be made easier,” he said.

The Government’s definite, collaborative, bold, and transformative approach to doing agricultural business, as outlined in the Agriculture and Food System Transformation Strategy, is consistent with the provision of ICT-enabled services.

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