Since August 2020, PAD has collaborated with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a UN affiliated multilateral agency, to deliver digital advisory to assist smallholder farmers in Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan to boost productivity and resiliency as they navigate the evolving impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 05 May 2021, IFAD convened an #IFADinnovationtalk webinar to showcase our partnership under the auspices of presentations and a panel discussion entitled ‘Digital Agriculture and the Rural Poor: Challenges and opportunities in delivering results’. Keynote speeches were delivered by Michael Kremer, PAD co-founder and Nobel Prize winner, and Owen Barder, PAD CEO. Our colleague Uzoamaka Ugochukwu, Nigeria Country Launch Manager, participated in a panel with Vivian Hoffman (a PAD research partner at IFPRI) and Dr. Zahoor-ul-Hassan (a key champion of our work in the Government of Punjab, Pakistan), and Patrick Habamenshi (country manager of IFAD Nigeria).
As Owen Barder, PAD’s CEO, stated in his keynote address, our collaboration with IFAD has demonstrated:
First, that our services can be replicated, adapted and scaled in new geographies, and can be scaled up to new target populations in existing geographies;
Second, that we have been able to develop and deploy surveys and A/B tests to quickly and accurately gather and analyze information from users to improve our services and adapt to evolving challenges in near real time; and
Third, the combined capabilities of governments, multilateral organizations and non-profit service delivery organizations can deploy services quickly and at scale, using local talent and shared knowledge and systems.
The full text of Michael Kremer’s contribution is accessible here; Owen Barder’s speech can be accessed here; and a full recording of their presentations, panel discussion and subsequent Q&A is accessible via the video posted at the top of this page.
We envisage this our partnership with IFAD as both a mechanism for recovery from the devastating effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on smallholder farmers, and an investment in better ways of delivering agricultural information in the long term.
We are excited at our progress in advancing our systems to complement IFAD’s work in support of poor rural farming families and look forward to further success as we continue to work together to service poor, rural families with valuable and productive information.Owen Barder, CEO