RCMRD together with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is implementing a project titled, "Strengthening the capacity of Ministries of Agriculture in monitoring downstream investments using Geo-information technologies for informed investment decisions and policies". This project is being implemented in four countries namely; Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi and Mozambique. The goal of the project is to build the capacity of governments' Ministries of Agriculture to monitor agricultural value chain investments using GIS and Earth observation information.
One of the key project outputs is development and deployment of web GIS and mobile data collection platforms for the collection, management, visualization and analysis of agricultural data for each project country.
From April 5 to 17, 2021, a team of RCMRD staff including AGRA Data Analyst Angela Too and two GIT Technical Experts Allan Maungu and Steve Otieno were in Maputo, Mozambique for an evaluation of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) server specifications, server configuration and setup and AGRA web GIS software and database installation. They trio also conducted a mobile data collection training aimed at building the capacity of participants from Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) in improved mobile data collection and digitized dataflows for increased effectiveness and better review of the agricultural production process for both short- and long term and better project interventions monitoring.
The technical evaluation of server procured for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) was conducted and confirmed to be meet the system requirements. In addition, the server was setup and configured with the prerequisite software configurations. The web GIS portal software and database were installed and is currently internally accessible on the IP address – http://10.0.2.18.
The training workshop was conducted in both English and Portuguese where translation was done by a consultant. The training encompassed the installations of the mobile application tool and an understanding of its aspects complete with set-up, trouble shooting and considering the additional features required by the countries (dynamic data collection forms). The training module was structured to enable participants from MADER to customize data collection forms and ingest in the mobile application tool kit for use in data collection. The participants were further trained in the back-end processing post data collection and how to review collected data. The training also covered the geoportal utilization by the users including data upload, metadata generation, analytical analysis and map management. The expected results include evaluation of purchase server specifications conducted, virtualization software and virtual server setup completed and web GIS/analytics portal and database installation completed.
Upon completion of the Mobile data collection tool and geoportal user training course, the following outcomes were achieved: Improved knowledge on how to use the AGRA mobile data collection tool and backend processing and improve knowledge on user geoportal utilization including data upload, metadata generation, analytical analysis and map management.
As a way forward, it was agreed that administrator and developer training on web GIS server to be carried out for Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) IT personnel on managing the GIS portal and database, integration of Web GIS portal with existing mobile data collection platform, and extension of GIS capabilities in the mobile data platform and capacity building gaps identified for ArcGIS Survey123, Geodatabases and Google Earth Engine training.