The e-Agriculture Community
Our Mission is to serve as a catalyst for institutions and individuals in agriculture and rural development to share knowledge, learn from others, and improve decision making about the vital role of ICTs to empower rural communities, improve rural livelihoods, and build sustainable agriculture and food security.
How and why do we do it?
We achieve all this by working together - with partners around the globe. e-Agriculture is all about knowledge exchange between UN agencies, governments, universities, research organizations, NGOs, farmers' organizations, private sector, and the wider community. We recognize that, in its simplest form, knowledge exchange is about starting constructive dialogue. That is why one of the most popular activities is the e-Agriculture Forum series. Topics are demand-driven, and lead by partner institutions who specialize in different areas of e-agriculture.
The History of 'e-agriculture' and the Community
Although "e-agriculture" type activities and other initiatives to bridge the rural digital divide had already been underway around the world, the Community (and the term "e-agriculture") came into being after the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003 and 2005. It was clear to the WSIS global participants that when addressing the challenges that face the digital divide, especially in a rural livelihoods context, problems go beyond just technology. It is a multi-faceted problem of ineffective knowledge exchange and management of information content, as well as the lack of human resources, institutional capacity, and sensitivity to gender and the diverse needs of different groups. With WSIS participants identifying and naming "e-agriculture" as a key action line to address the Millennium Development Goals, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was assigned to lead the development and subsequent facilitation activities that would truly engage stakeholders at all levels. Bringing together a group of Founding Partners in 2006, the e-Agriculture Community officially launched in 2007. Today, the e-Agriculture Community of Practice is still growing and supporting its members and the communities with which they work daily.