Breaking Barriers: Closing the Gender Gap in Agricultural Advisories in Ethiopia

Digital innovations have scaled agricultural extension and training to farmers by facilitating access to knowledge and connecting people across distances.

In Ethiopia, despite agriculture being the backbone of the economy, many smallholders have limited access to improved technologies and crucial agricultural information. To address this, Digital Green, Precision Development Government are supporting farmers through the Digital Agricultural Advisory Services project, which leverages Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology to offer extension advisory services to farmers. IVR is a cutting-edge technology that enables automated interactions with users through voice prompts and keypad inputs, maximizing the potential of mobile phones to improve farmers’ livelihoods.

Impacting Gender & Nutrition through Innovative Technical Exchange in Agriculture (IGNITE), a project implemented by Tanager, Laterite, and 60 Decibels, aims to identify models that increase both the equitable consumption of affordable, nutritious diets year-round and the empowerment of women in agriculture.

IGNITE conducted a study led by 60 Decibels to assess the effectiveness of advisory messages on dairy farming, delivered through Ethiopia’s farmer hotline IVR calls. The study surveyed 1,057 dairy farmers, explored listener profiles, the application and uptake of IVR information, household dynamics, decision-making power, impact on dairy farming, satisfaction levels, and challenges with the IVR call, particularly focusing on partial listeners and drop-off rates—all with the aim to better reach female farmers.

Nearly 8 in 10 farmers reported experiencing improvements in their quality of life, attributing these positive changes to the information they had learned about dairy farming.

Read more of the study findings at: