“Farmer Empowering Information System” FEIS
Agro-economy in SriLanka is dominated by the smallholder farmers. Nearly 84 percent of the country’s population lives in the rural area (World Bank research 2012, n.d). Paddy, other cereals, yams, fruits and vegetables are mainly cultivated in different parts of this country. The North East of SriLanka has been badly affected by 30 years of conflict. As a result there are sizeable women headed households in the farming community.
Smallholder farmers are in need of market information and easy access. Most of them are mainly involved in paddy and vegetable cultivation. With the end of conflict, extent of cultivatable land had increased and the farmers face difficulties to dispose their produces at reasonable prices. Further, end of the armed conflict has encouraged number of businesses to expand their activities in the agro-industries sector. Many of them are working with smallholder farmers. Even though this has brought relief to some extent to the smallholder farmers, there is much more needed for farmer empowerment to earn sustainable income.
FCCISL (Federation of Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Sri Lanka) has developed a system to capture information (raw data) of farmers involved in paddy, fruits, vegetable, OFC cultivation & livestock sectors, in the Districts of Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Mannar, Vavuniya.
This unique venture is to empower farmers with information using mobile platform which intent to provide information such as;
1) Daily market information
2) Updates on Weather and climate changes –location based
3) Early warnings- location based
4) Information on pest breakout- location based
5) Information on farmer friendly financial products
6) Market opportunities.
7) Land location and resource mapping
8) Crop Cultivation on demand base situation
9) Usage of right fertilizer and many more such facilities
Reach of this system for the moment is limited to our project areas in Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Mannar but could be expanded to all other parts of the country
System is linked with various service providers for information dissemination using mobile platform
- Early warning system – Disaster Management
- Department of Agriculture
- Famous market places
- Agro Companies
- And Much more
Agriculture being the back bone of the Sri Lankan economy, availability of comprehensive information is very limited. Most of the private sectors in the agro sector and government organisations are looking for comprehensive information. Federation of Chambers of Commerce and industry of Sri Lanka has come up with an innovative solution – Farmer Empowering information system. This initiative is supported by the “Socio-Economic Development for Conflict Affected Communities of North and East Sri Lanka” project funded by European Union and implemented through Oxfam GB.
FCCISL is the national implementing partner of OXFAM GB, in the “Socio-Economic Development for the Conflict Affected Communities of North and East Sri Lanka” project funded by EU under EU – ACAP 2009/2013 Project (European Union Assistance for Conflict Affected People). It works in association with the district Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Mannar with the aim of contributing to Improved access to infrastructure and enhanced capacity to significantly improve household income and food security of conflict affected families; so that a) Women and men of formerly displaced families, have capacity to pursue their choice of economic activities to significantly improve their household income and food security b) Producer organisations (especially women managed) have capacity and skills necessary to represent their members effectively. FCCISL identifies its component of the Project as “CHEER” (CHAMBER-NETWORK ENGAGEMENT IN ECONOMIC REHABILITATION).
In 2009 Oxfam GB was contracted by the European Union as an implementer of the project ‘Socio-economic development for conflict affected communities in North and East Sri Lanka’. The project period is 2009/2013. The project aims at contributing to
Improved access to infrastructure and enhanced capacity to significantly improve household income and food security of conflict affected families; so that
- Women and men of formerly displaced families, have capacity to pursue their choice of economic activities to significantly improve their household income and food security
- Producer organisations (especially women managed) have capacity and skills necessary to represent their members effectively
Oxfam implements the project with many national and regional partners and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) is the key national partner representing the private sector. On the other hand FCCISL works with the Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Vavuniya and Mannar District Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Agriculture in implementing the project at the district level. FCCISL identifies its component of the Project as “CHEER” (CHAMBER-NETWORK ENGAGEMENT IN ECONOMIC REHABILITATION).