Digital Tools and Farmers’ Learning Processes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Study of Eleven Digital Agricultural Advisory Services in Burkina Faso


In sub-Saharan Africa, farmers face complex problems that require them to develop new knowledge and skills. In this paper, we analyze how agro-advisory service providers are mobilizing digital tools to meet this need. Based on a study of eleven digital agro-advisory services in Burkina Faso, we show that only two of these services were developed with the explicit objective of supporting farmers’ learning processes. While the functionalities of the services are in line with service providers’ visions, none of the studied services delivers personalized knowledge to farmers on a large scale. We then discuss these results on the basis of the existing literature to identify factors that contribute to explain this situation. We propose avenues of research to better understand the constraints faced by digital agro-advisory service providers and to explore how these difficulties could be overcome to facilitate farmers’ learning on a large scale.
JEL Codes: O33, O36, Q16

  • Extension and Advisory Services
  • Digital
  • Learning
  • Knowledge Transfer
  • Performance Logic
  • Design-reality Gaps.
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