Young entrepreneurs in Malawi master smart technology

KCOA Malawi YE Training

Seven youths belonging to four entrepreneur teams from Malawi were recently brought up to speed on the functions, mechanisms and use of a cutting-edge technology – the solar-powered Digisoft smart projector (containing all Access Agriculture farmer-training videos) – that they had won through the Access Agriculture Young Entrepreneur Challenge Fund initiative.

The winners of the Challenge Fund, known as Entrepreneurs for Rural Access (ERAs), are part of a network of innovative young people who design sustainable business models based on using the smart projector in rural areas to bring about a positive change in the lives of farmers, especially women and youth, in their communities. A dedicated team from Access Agriculture trains and coaches the ERAs.

The training session was held in Mponela, Dowa district in Malawi, as part of the GIZ-funded Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in Africa (KCOA) project. It was conducted by Access Agriculture ERA coach and colleagues based in Malawi. Osman Majid, who has been an ERA from 2019, shared his experiences with the new ERAs.

The training consisted of theoretical and practical sessions, including:

  • A practical demonstration of the smart projector, which can be used even in offline and off-grid environments.
  • An overview of the ERAs’ role as private e-extension service providers who can facilitate last-mile delivery of the Access Agriculture farmer-training videos
  • Basic aspects of an easy-to-use mobile app to monitor and track data on video use and impact on beneficiaries

The ERAs were excited with the training sessions and expressed their desire to get training in business management to help them in their enterprises. They plan to network with other ERAs in Malawi to share best practices. The addition of these seven KCOA ERAs brings the total number of Access Agriculture ERAs in Malawi to 15.

 “The training will not only help increase the ERA footprint across the country, but will also bring in more knowledge and skills to farming families, especially those that live in remote areas,” said Vinjeru Mlenga, Access Agriculture ERA Coach for Malawi and Southern Africa.