ICT training empowers women farmers in Uganda

National Library of Uganda

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Women farmers learning how to use computers.
Women farmers in Nakaseke District learn to use computers and the internet through National Library of Uganda’s innovative project. Many of the women had never used a computer before.

community need

Nakaseke district, where Kyangatto village is located, is about 70km north of Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. The village is a centre for a farming community who work with livestock and grow vegetables and fruit. Farming is mainly done by women, who rely on traditional farming methods. Women farmers speak the local language, Luganda, and have limited access to  information that will improve their livelihoods, for example, about modern farming methods, the weather, animal diseases and plant pests, markets and market prices.

The innovative project

National Library of Uganda (NLU) sought a solution in information and communication technology (ICT). With support from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) in 2012, and working in partnership with Nakaseke Multi-purpose Community Telecentre, the library bought four computers and 15 mobile phones. The partners developed an ICT training course, including computer and internet research skills, and developed an SMS (mobile phone text messaging) service to send the farmers information in the local language, Luganda.

This was the first-ever ICT training for women farmers in the district, and the partners had to work especially hard to build the women’s confidence and help overcome their fear of computers.

eifl-plip project timeline

May 2012 - April 2013.

achievements and Impact

In less than a year, NLU developed a basic ICT training manual in Luganda, and taught 64 women farmers computer and internet skills. The project built women’s information literacy skills and taught them to use email to request agricultural information from government agencies and research institutes. The library engaged and trained two volunteers (local youth with an interest in ICT) to send regular SMS to 50 women farmers, with information about the weather, market prices, and availability and cost of agricultural supplies.

additional resources

Read a two-page case study about the project.

More libraries improving farmers' lives

Through the library’s SMS (mobile phone text messaging) alerts I know where to sell my products at the best prices, and on time!
Esther Sserwanga, development leader in the Kyangatto women’s group