Digital extension Interactive Voice Response (IVR) mLearning: Lessons learnt from Uganda pig value chain

We assessed the effectiveness of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology in delivering biosecurity messages for the control of African swine fever (ASF) in Uganda using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 408 smallholder pig farmers. Our results show that IVR technology significantly improved knowledge of farmers who had not been exposed to training on biosecurity. Furthermore, it enhanced knowledge for farmers who had received face-to-face (f2f) training in biosecurity. This group of farmers recorded the highest knowledge gain following IVR training compared to farmers who did not receive f2f training. IVR technology was perceived by farmers as a new technology capable of transforming their lives because it is time efficient, has high potential for resource saving and flexibility. IVR also seems to be gender sensitive as it addresses some of the constraints women face in accessing conventional extension services such as time. IVR is an innovative way for delivery of advisory information to pig farmers. The scalability of IVR technology could further be explored and its feasibility assessed for wider use by the extension systems in Uganda and elsewhere.