A baseline survey for Kaukau (Sweet Potato) value chain was recently conducted by a team of extension officers including industrial trainee students from the University of Natural Resources & Evironment (UNRE) using an android application. The objective of the survey was to field test questionnaires developed under the ACIAR Sweet potato Commercialization project using ICT tools.
The survey covered the Asaro Valley in the Daulo district and Mimanalo LLG of the Goroka District. A total of 24 farmers were interviewed. An ICT application developed under Commcare App Development suite and installed on android tablets were used to conduct the survey.
Commcare is an open source mobile data collection platform that enables anyone to build mobile applications. It is widely used for development work globally. It was introduced to FPDA under the ACIAR Sweet Potato Commercialization project. It is much faster and convenient to use in the field.
The survey data collected is stored in the cloud storage and offline records are synchronised accordingly. Through the surveys conducted it was discovered that farmers need market information to assist them in their decision making. The knowlege about the costs involved in production from the farm gate all the way to the consumer is lacking. Given that the prices fluctuates regularly and depending on the demand of the produce. It is important that farmers must know the demand levels before they can negotiate for good prices with buyers when selling their produce.