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e-Forum on ICTs and Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with the Global Open Data on Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN);the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the World Bank are inviting interested individuals to participate on the upcoming forum discussion to be held on e-agriculture platform.The same forum will run parallel at Land Portal 

This forum will take place from 19 June to 14 July 2017 on the E-Agriculture Platform

The forum is summarised below

The purpose 

The purpose of this discussion is to explore how information communication technologies (ICTs) can be used in facilitating the fair use of open data in agriculture and nutrition by farmers in general and especially by the more vulnerable among them such as family farmers, rural women and the youth engaged in farming as a livelihood. 

The context 

Most abject poverty in the world is concentrated in rural communities in developing countries and within them in small, family farmers. Technology is now opening up many new opportunities to improve the livelihoods of these farmers.

The use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been demonstrated to effectively connect many family farmers to the much needed extension and advisory support as well as access to market related information.

ICTs also promise to improve farm level decision making, maximise the use of farm resources, improve the quality and safety of farm produce and to improve financial, and logistical services for farmers to market their produce.Increasing the availability and accessibility of data through ICTs and enabling their effective use, could also offer even more benefits for smallholder farmers and rural communities through more precise agriculture and market chain management of their produce.

Accessibility of open agricultural data has shown to be beneficial to farmers. For example, openly available weather data provide farmers with early warnings against adverse farming conditions; allows for precautions which include advice and warning for crop protection and also help in monitoring irrigation and in planning for adapting to adverse effects of climate change.

Making data more open, easily available and accessible on the whole accelerates innovation and generates economic and social capital. However, more open data can also harm and bring losses to some within a community, especially those who are economically, politically, socially and technologically weak and less powerful.

This online debate on the e-Agriculture platform will explore the cross roads between ICTs and issues around opening data in Agriculture and Nutrition and its effective use, with a focus on establishing what benefits and possible losses, can accrue to farmers, especially small holder family farmers in developing countries, if technology and open data are used conjunctively


This forum will be moderated by

Subject Matter Experts

  1. Dr Suchith Anand - Researcher, GODAN Secretariat (United Kingdom)
  2. Boniface Akuku - Director, Information Management and Communication Technology, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) (Kenya)
  3. Dr Prasad ARD - Professor and Head Documentation Research & Training Centre, Indian Statistical Institute (India)
  4. Henry Burgsteden - Agricultural Services and Digital Inclusion in Africa Project, FAO of the United Nations (Italy)
  5. Dra Amparo Ballivian - Poverty economist and a data innovations expert, World Bank (United States)
  6. Dr Justin Chisenga - Capacity Development Officer, FAO of the United Nations (Rome)
  7. Dr Sridhar Gutam - Senior Scientist (Plant Physiology), ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (ICAR-IIHR) (India)
  8. Richard Mugata - Information Management Specialist, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) (Kenya)
  9. Dr Ninomiya Seishi - Agroinformatics, Fieldinformatics, Biometrics Professor, University of Tokyo (Japan)
  10. Muchiri Nyaggah - Executive Director, Local Development Research Institute (LDRI) (Kenya)
  11. Dr Vassilis Protonotarios - Researcher, Neuropublic (Greece)
  12. Dr Simone Sala - ICT-4- griculture and Environment Expert, FAO of the United Nations (Italy)
  13. Prof Muliaro Wafula - Director, ICT Centre of Excellence & Open Data -iCEOD, JKUAT (Kenya)
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