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Smart Phones Assist Farmers in Zambia in Faster Organic Certification


Jul 07 2010, Zambia [ZM], Agriculture

Over 1000 organic farmers throughout Zambia will be able to receive organic certification through the use of smart phones in the future. With the support of IICD a digital data collection system will be put in place and people are trained in the use of this new system.

Farmers will be visited by extension officers of the Organic Producers and Processors Association of Zambia (OPPAZ). These officers store product data on their phone and send the information to a central database located at the OPPAZ head office. Extension officers now mostly use pen and paper to collect data. It takes a considerable amount of time until the data is received at the headquarters. And not everything ends up in the database correctly.
With the support of IICD, data collection through a combination of web application and smart phones with the Android operating system will be put in place. The collected data will be analysed and records are computed and stored on the central system or linked to the website of OPPAZ.
By using the new system, certification will become easier and more transparent. Most of the required data and documents are collected within a short period of time and with less labour involved. This leads to faster national and international certification.
What’s more, the system has a double function as internal control system and as a marketing tool. In the near future, international buyers can easily find information on member farmers’ goods on the OPPAZ website.

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