Title : Open local geo-farmer’s map
In the 1980s, millet farms used to be infested by swarms of small usually black caterpillar like worms eating off the tender millet leaves. Farmers never sprayed their farms to get rid of the worms because the worms were not capable of causing a devastating effect to the crop since their life span was very short. Since then, Uganda had never witnessed a more devastating attack like the one witnessed in 2017 by the fall army worm. Farmers looked on helplessly as the worm wreaked havoc across the country destroying maize farms at the speed of wind. Responsible authorities were caught off guard. In a desperate move to rescue farmers, advisory information was being delivered through ineffective communication channels like TVs, Radios, and Newspapers. The information could reach a very marginal number of farmers because there was no effective social mobilization frame work under functional communication structure that could help to rally all segments of the society to take appropriate action towards mitigation. The GPS and GIS have advanced quite well and attracted significant use in the agricultural sector lately. Open source platforms are essential in crowd sourcing data, enhancing research, promoting inclusive participation, and innovation in different sectors. However, in agriculture, mapping has for long been around natural resources like land, water sources, vegetation, arable, and un-arable land etc., leaving out smallholder farmers, and farmers' organizations in the mapping ecosystem. This has created a big gap between smallholder farmers and service providers. Many initiatives have been carried out in different parts of the world to profile farmers to better understand their immediate challenges and for better service delivery. However, without a comprehensive farmers' map, effective service delivery still remains a big challenge.