By Katia Mugenzi
The Agribusiness Business Development (ADC) powered by DFCU bank and Rabo Foundation offers Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) trainings in good governance, financial literacy, marketing, and price risk management. ADC has trained 114 Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) with over 8042 farmers in the East, West, Central and Northern region. Our goal is to train 375 Farmers Based organizations by 2022; with SOMA, we shall be able to reach our goal.
SOMA is an eLearning platform which was developed based on an identified learning gap; mismatch between demand of learning services and the capacity of the ADC to match this demand in the physical and high cost of carrying out one on one classroom trainings for each individual farmer. Developing the eLearning is an opportunity to bridge the gap between demand and supply of the ADC technical services at a cost-effective way. It is designed to be a self-based learning where members can access the system, register for accounts, and choose any courses they may wish to learn and gain skills on.
With SOMA we shall be able to render a unique learning experience to users through a variety of content mainly in the categories of video, graphics, audio, and text. We plan to reach over 10,000 + farmers remotely by 2022.
SOMA will give the farmers the opportunity for education without the restrictions of time or location. This is going to solve the challenge of gender imbalance since most women miss the lessons due to other home obligations. Furthermore, some learners prefer working at their own pace and prefer not to restrict their learning to a specific location, this will help the farmers save on transport to go to learning centers.
ADC’s long plan is to establish learning centers or hubs in different Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) where farmers can be able to come take lessons in their own time of convenience. When a farmer registers for a lesson and starts learning, the system offers the learner resume capabilities that is; they can always stop and later continue from where they last stopped.
The other uniqueness of SOMA is that it offers a certificate for each course completed. The fact that most of the farmers we are training are semi illiterate; this is also a motivation for them to complete these lessons. A farmer who has completed these lessons is at an advantage of being able to do business with financial Institutions, buyers, and processors.
It goes without mention that the COVID 19 has compelled most business to include technology in their activities, farmers are the back bone of this country therefore there is need for them to adopt real quick and ADC is here to support them.
To access the platform, go to www.soma.adc.ug or email us for assistance firstname.lastname@example.org