CABI Expert Dr. B.B. Singh at Paddy Field

About DirectFarm project, an initiative of CABI

Direct2Farm is an agro-infomediary service which, by using mobile ICT, helps farmers to rapidly develop their skill to solve the farming problems and achieve improved leverage in trade and markets by providing critical information, facilitate linkages and access to services.

As a result, farmers will be able to realize better profit from farming operation and improve their food and livelihood security; thus Direct2Farm services will also contribute towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 2; “End hunger, achieves food security and improved nutrition, and promotes sustainable agriculture”.

Although there have been extensive knowledge available within the agriculture research and development domain, making this knowledge reach to the farmers, the way they want has always been a great challenge.

Direct2Farm service is trying to make this happen by transforming the ubiquitous mobile phone as the knowledge solution provider in the hand of the farmers. Mobile telephony is being proliferated far and wide at great speed making “reaching the unreached” possible and advancement in voice based technologies have resulted in “breaking the literacy barrier”. Direct2Farm service is designed to take advantage of this “mobile telephony revolution” and enable farmers to seek and source solutions to their day to day farming problems in real-time and on demand.

Beside this, physical, economic and political environment (e.g. climate change, new pest and diseases, trade policies etc.) are rapidly changing and it is vital to keep farmers abreast of these changes. For this, farmers need to acquire and upgrade skills fast enough to survive and prosper. Direct2Farm is helping farmers to acquire new knowledge and skill using ICT and human mediation.

The smallholder farmers are physically dispersed and disconnected with mainstream markets. Hence there is significant information gap at the last mile. Direct2Farm helps the farmers with information that is contextualised and hyper-localised, which enables in price discovery and better bargaining power.

Direct2Farm service is evolved out of the extensive experience and expertise of CABI in managing scientific information. CABI has been in the forefront of making high quality scientific information available to researchers and academics through its flagship databases like CAB Abstracts, CABI Compendia etc.

The same expertise has now been brought in to develop a unified repository of high quality agriculture extension information for the south Asian and African regions. This repository is the backbone of Direct2Farm service which makes this information disseminate through various mobile telephony channels like text, voice, apps etc.

In Direct2Farm, mobile network operators and agriculture service providers will find an off-the-shelf solution to design and implement tailor made agri-information services for their targeted customers. While the development agencies and policy makers will find this service as the bridge between the information and its targeted users, making development interventions impactful, measurable and inclusive.

To sum up; Direct2Farm services will provide “information that transforms into knowledge, knowledge that offers solution and solutions that eventually bring in prosperity”.