PlantwisePlus Blog

Last month a series of digital tools workshops occurred in Southern Jamaica. Organized by the PlantwisePlus team in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA). These workshops aimed to showcase and promote the PlantwisePlus digital tools, including the PlantwisePlus Knowledge Bank, Factsheet Library App, and CABI Academy. The events catered to a diverse audience, including lead farmers, extension officers, data managers and researchers.

Participants from day 1 of the PlantwisePlus Digital Tools Workshop (Image: RADA)

Digital tools workshops: engaging the audience

In focusing on promoting the range of digital tools developed under the program, the workshops engaged participants through live demonstrations. Notably, Jamaica is one of the most active partner countries, with approximately 88% of workshop participants with prior experience using the PlantwisePlus Knowledge Bank. The CABI Academy’s online learning platform features courses like Crop Pest Management and Diagnosis. The platform garnered significant attention and was highlighted for promoting professional development.

User testing: ensuring a natural experience

Employing Human Centred Design principles, the PlantwisePlus team conducted interactive user testing sessions. Stakeholders actively participated in using and reviewing the digital tools independently, mirroring a natural user experience. Importantly, valuable insights gained from these sessions will be carefully reviewed by product teams. As a result, they will be able to identify areas for improvement, ensuring continuous enhancement to meet the evolving needs of the target audiences.

CABI staff demonstrating the PlantwisePlus digital tools (Image: CABI)

Data management training: building competence

The workshops delved into critical data management training, specifically tailored for RADA and its network of parish managers. The PlantwisePlus plant clinic system, integrating the Data Collection App, plays a pivotal role in gathering crop health information directly from farmers. Subsequently, this data undergoes harmonization into the central Plantwise Online Management System (POMS). Notably, the workshops prioritized instructing parish managers on the proficient use of these data management tools. As such, this facilitates their access to valuable insights for their respective constituencies. The active promotion of good data management practices, including harmonization, proves integral to constructing a robust data ecosystem for the country’s agricultural sector.

Conclusion: achievement and empowerment

In conclusion, the Southern Jamaican workshops successfully achieved their core goals of promoting digital tools, conducting user testing, and providing essential data management training. These initiatives not only showcased the effectiveness of the program but empowered agricultural stakeholders in the uptake of digital solutions.

Please see our Toolkit for more information on the PlantwisePlus Digital tools.

PlantwisePlus gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), Netherlands; European Commission Directorate General for International Partnerships (INTPA, EU); the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), United Kingdom; the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China (MARA)  

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