logo mobile

e-Agriculture mobile logo

From your understanding and experiences, what is the role of ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop based s

40 posts / 0 new
Last post
e-Agriculture's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 12/08/2010 - 13:04
From your understanding and experiences, what is the role of ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop based s

From your understanding and experiences, what is the role of ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop based systems for both the smallholder and commercial farmers. 

Wilfried Baudoin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 02/03/2017 - 14:20
Intro & Welcome remarks- ICTs-4- SCPI-Hortcrops e-forum.

Welcome everybody, to this global discussion on the role of ICTs in ‘Sustainable Crop Production Intensification’ (SCPI) with a particular focus on horticulture crop based systems (mainly fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers).

In the next three weeks, we are looking forward to exciting discussions – at the beginning of each week a guiding discussion question (setting the theme) will be posted on the forum and you are free to reply with your contributions.


As you know, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) play a vital role in agricultural production. However, within horticulture crop-based systems, the application and use of ICTs is limited and less understood.

Many stakeholders within the agricultural sector highlighted the importance of ICTs for sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and facilitating access to agricultural information and services by marginalized groups (mainly women and the youth) and poor communities.

At the recently held G20 Ministers meeting, the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the  United Nations (FAO) remarked “ICTs can have a profound impact on the efficiency, resilience, and inclusion of poor family famers”, (Graziano da Silva -January, 2017).

The ability of ICTs to bring refreshed momentum to agriculture appears even more compelling in light of rising investments in agricultural research, the private sector’s strong interest in the development and spread of ICTs, and the upsurge of organizations committed to the agricultural development agenda; in the holistic achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Against this background, efforts were made by FAO, other UN Agencies and the broader developmental partners to apply various ICT solutions to the development agenda.

These efforts have been randomly reported and applied globally also within agriculture. The commonly known application of ICTs is in information dissemination and awareness raising through mobile phones and various applications, radio, TV, video, etc.

The latest technologies for sustainably increasing crop production include for example sensors for real-time traceability and the use of GPS data.  Leading towards precision farming and other climate smart farming practices.

With this in mind, I would like to invite you to share your practical experiences with the use of ICTs and emerging technologies in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop-based systems. We are looking forward to a fruitful discussion!

Innocent Chamisa's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 03/03/2017 - 10:13
Thank you and a warm welcome to you all!

Thank you Dr Wilfried for the opening remarks and setting the tone for the discussion. 

Dear participants, we are greatly honored and pleased to welcome you all, with this the floor is open for your contributions.

Looking forward to a fruitful discussion.

Forum Moderator.

thembani.malapela's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 9 hours ago
Joined: 19/10/2016 - 10:48
Platform participation support

   Thank you Dr Wilfried for the opening remarks and setting the tone for the discussion.

   For any questions kindly send e-mail e-agriculture@fao.org or consult this blog

   Co-Forum Moderator

gwynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 17/11/2008 - 06:56
ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop systems

The recording of data will increasingly be automated through the use of smart devices, sensors, drones etc.  ICTs in a variety of forms will receive and process the data. Interpretation and consequential actions will follow - with the results being recorded etc.  Ongoing planning, monitoring and improvement at a very granular level. There will need to be a common identification framework e.g. the GS1 Global Location Number (GLN).  The challenge will be that every farm and farming group will be unique.  Smallholder farmers would often not have the resources to participate and there is thus the opportunity to develop a new "technology as a service" industry.

tmoysiadis@f-in.gr's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/06/2016 - 17:14
ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop systems

From my experience gained from piloted Internet of Things technologies in smart agriculture, the multiple effects of the use of ICTs in sustainable intensification (I excluded the sustainability/ environmental gains that are pre-assumed in this hypothesis) are summarised as below: 

i. ICTs increase the productivity of the farm by lowering the supply of inputs to precisely match its contextual needs (context is based on soil moisture, temperature, EC, leaf-wetness etc) leaving unchanged or even improve the yield's quality and quantity

ii. ICTs increase the productivity of the farmer by rationalising the time spent for his farming and business activities. For example, operational tasks can be evaluated remotely and -when approved- also applied remotely; saving time and money for the farmer (e.g. irrigate without physical presence for assessing soil moisture and/or turn on the pump and activate the irrigation system), 

iii. marketing/business gains for the commercial launch of the products that were produced with the use of ICTs due to increased traceability of the cultivation practices. 

iv. Last, ICTs acquire, transmit and diffuse to relevant stakeholders data that relate to pre/ during/ post production phases. As a result, modern enterpreuners can benefit from the data treatment as a commodity that enables novel data-sharing business models and interelationships across the horticulture crop value chain. 

I would be glad to elaborate on these with anyone interested also bringing in the discussion specific technologies and projects for farmers, food processors, traders and consumers.

Harris

thembani.malapela's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 9 hours ago
Joined: 19/10/2016 - 10:48
ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop systems

Thank you for this contribution in the first week, do you think you can provide a case study of any ICTs in this week's question. Click here and submit your contribution

On behalf of the moderators

Albert Fosso's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 06/03/2017 - 10:21
From your understanding and experiences, what is the role of ICT

Thanks Mr. Wilfried Baudoin for the opening.

Personally i have used ICT technologies for training purpose in many projects, to record data, to help the youths to identify pests and diseases attacking vegetables in communities gardens, and also to  react fast and propose  an efficient method of treatement.

 

 

 

Jonh-W-'s picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/03/2017 - 16:53
ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop systems

Let me start by thanking the organizers of this forum, (Innocent, Thembani and their FAO colleagues) for availing such a wonderful opportunity to us. Further acknowledging and thanking Dr Wilfried for the great and insightful opening statement, which has indeed achieved its purpose in contextualising the discussion.

This is a well-timed dialogue, which is twinning, two very important subjects but maybe not so much covered by research in the recent yesteryears. ICTs and in particular sustainable intensification of horticulture crop based systems. Not to mention the need of consuming more of fruits and vegetables and the health benefits derived from the consumption of  hort produce. To such a background, there could not be a better time to have a global discussion on how we can tap into ICTs and sustainably intensify horticulture production.

It is my believe that, ICT is today and the future, its role in helping agriculture to produce more with less cannot be emphasised more, with the bourgeoning population , ever-changing climate, which are both exerting  pressure on the limited resources available for man and  might worsen in the very near future , if collectively, global actions are not taken today. We really need to start thinking differently and innovatively, encourage, embrace and share the alternative –sustainable ways of increasing productivity across the globe and for both smallholder and commercial production systems. To ensure increased horticultural productivity, there is need of such a holistic thinking and approach to this. Harnessing all the advantages which ICTs promise and has already put in place, (on small scale and offers the possibility of upscaling.) ICTs applications/ Global Positioning Systems/ Precision Agriculture, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) will have a very important role in sustainably increasing horticultural production. With this l am strongly looking forward to a very stimulating discussion on the potentialities  which the aforementioned parameters holds in producing more with less targeting horticultural systems. Having different global experts coming from different fields on this platform will undeniably enriches the discussion, and this is the way to go in achieving our global goal -ending hunger.

Clement TENGE TENGE's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 04/03/2017 - 11:06
Production horticole intélligente dans les parcelles residentiel

Nous faisons l'expérience du reseau social pour développer des innovations aptes à produire des changements  dans les pratiques agricoles des explotants horticoles en milieu urbain. Nous sommes confronté à un sérieux problème d'utilisation abusive des produits chimiques dans les sites maraîchers. Nous rencontrons des jeunes ( femmes et hommes) engagés à produire dans les parcelles residentielles (Agricultures intélligente), avec mission de préserver l'environnement et la santé des consommateurs.

La préoccupation est de les faire accéder à un réseau de pairs et de mentors et de bénéficier des subventions de la FAO ainsi qu'un accompagnement regumier en TIC. Comme le cas d'Hortivar par exemple;

e-Agriculture's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 12/08/2010 - 13:04
Smart horticultural production in residential areas ( urban)

Translation to English provided by e-Agriculture

Smart horticultural production in residential areas.

We are experimenting various social networks tools, to develop innovations that can produce changes in the horticultural practices used by farmers in urban areas. We are confronted with a serious problem thus the misuse of chemicals in horticuture growing sites. We have met young people (women and men) who are practicing horticulture farming in their respective residential plots (Smart agriculture) having an objective to preserve the environment and the health of consumers. Our concern is to give them access to a network of peers and mentors and to have them benefiting from FAO’s funds as well as regular ICT support, for example case of http://www.fao.org/hortivar/.

Clement TENGE TENGE's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 04/03/2017 - 11:06
Notre expérience des jardins

Notre expérience des jardins potagers dans les parcelles residentielles en milieu urbain. Nous partageons des informations et expériences sur les téléphones mobiles. Les quartiers Kindele et Kimbondo dans la commune de Mont Ngafula fait fugure du modèle en RDC.

Dépuis octobre 2016, 30 Ménages de Kindele ou des quartiers voisins ( femmes et hommes), chaque ménage y cultive sa parcelle en fonction de ses moyens , et ce , une meilleure façon de promouvoir la consommation journalière de ( 400 à 600) de légumes frais de qualité , selon les normes de la FAO-OMS, ils utilisent de bons vieux arrosoirs.

Les fertilisants ( compost, fientes de volailles) sont fabriqués à partir du recyclage des déchets ménagers biodégradables.

Environs 60 % de la production sert à l'autoconsommation, le reste est vendu et permet de se procurer d'autes produits. Nous voulons que les parcelles deviennent entièrement biologique et écoresponsable. Sur base des messages et appels directs en ligne, les femmes peuvent poser des questions et obtenir des reponses en ligne sur leurs préocupations sur les itinéraires techniques de production ( choix de semence, écartement, mode de semis et plantation), mais surtaout sur l'application du compost et fiente des poules par exemple.  Surtout les SMS sont utilisés pour entre en contact avec les mentors locaux.

Notre est d'atteindre un grand nombre des ménages, dans la mesure où, la plupart des sites maraîchers de la commune de mont ngafula sont entièrrement spoliés avec les constructions, tandisque les parcelles d'habitation ont l'avantage d'ouvrir déjà une sécurité foncier pour les exploitants dans les parcelles et la qualité du legume reste bonne pour la santé.
 

e-Agriculture's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 12/08/2010 - 13:04
Our experience with vegetable gardens

Translation to English provided by e-Agriculture

Our experience with vegetable gardens in residential plots in urban areas. We share information and experiences with mobile phones. The Kindele and Kimbondo districts in the municipality of Mont Ngafula are a model for the DRC.

Since October 2016, 30 households of Kindele or neighboring districts (women and men), cultivate plots according to its means, and this to promote the daily consumption of (400 to 600) fresh quality vegetables, according to FAO-WHO standards. In order to do so they use good old watering cans.

Fertilizers are made from the recycled biodegradable household waste.

About 60% of the production is used for auto-consumption. What is left is sold and allows the households to buy other products. We want the plots to become fully organic and eco-responsible. Through messages and direct calls, women can ask questions and get answers to their concerns about technical steps to take (seed selection, separation, seeding mode and planting) such as application of compost for example. Especially SMS are used to contact local mentors.

Our goal is to reach a large number of households, since most of the hortiultural sites in the municipality of Mont Ngafula are destroyed by buildings. Garden plots have the advantage of being secured land for households/farmers in plots and the quality of the vegetables remains good for their health

Alan Goodrich's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 04/03/2017 - 09:12
ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop systems

In our experience, intensification of production is often linked to access to finance. The financing of agriculture in many developing countries, particularly smallholder farming, faces significant challenges. One of the key difficulties is the lack of confidence in the other parties in the value chain. Lenders don’t have confidence in farmers. Farmers don’t have confidence in lenders. Suppliers of inputs don’t have confidence in either lenders or farmers. Off-takers / buyers don’t have confidence in farmers and vice-versa, and so on.

This lack of confidence typically manifests itself in the form of unrealistic collateral requirements and/or unsustainable interest rates that severely limit the opportunity for farmers to; either access finance at all, or do so at an affordable interest rate, that would allow them to grow (intensify production) or, at the bottom of the pyramid, climb out of the poverty-cycle of a subsistence existence.

We have developed an ICT-based solution that establishes, or re-establishes, trust within the value chain while incentivising loyalty. Through the use of technology to link each stakeholder in the value chains, managed by our aGrnomiX system, visibility is increased over participant/stakeholder activities and accountability naturally improves as a result. The information and data captured also allows us to develop scoring models (using alternative data and sources) that establish financial identities, which insentivises participants and empowers them through improved access to finance.

Look out for the Makoni Paprika Scheme case study from Zimbabwe that will be presented over the coming weeks...

Innocent Chamisa's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 03/03/2017 - 10:13
Makoni Paprika Scheme case study- ICTs-SCPI-Hortcrops.

Thank you Alan, for bringing these very interesting points into the discussion, SCPI -Finance, and Trust. We are looking forward to a further discussion around these issues and to your case study : Makoni Paprika Scheme 

Oscartaona's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/03/2017 - 17:39
More Video Please!

 

Because intensification is ultimately going to be implemented by farmers, the starting point ought to be understanding their view of it. Farmers want to progress in their work, and are often very willing to adopt new practices and aims once they appreciate the benefits thereof.

That said, a significant role for ICTs going forward will be communicating to the (African smallholder) farmer

(a) the importance (global), (b) the value (for individual farmer) and (c) the actual practices to adopt/ steps to take, working with what they have.

My view is that the majority of our smallholders need very little incentive to adopt good agricultural practices- they just need to see the benefits with their own eyes. This causes me to believe in video as an ICT tool in particular;

1. Videos of success stories delivered directly to the farmer or farmer group.  Videos of farmers in other places realizing real benefits from adopting sustainable intensification would not only inform, but also stimulate aspiration. 

2. Video tutorials of how to "do" sustainable intensification.

Zimbabwe for instance, has a saturated mobile penetration, with an estimated 98% of its population having mobile broadband.

Video has proven to have very low adoption issues across Africa, and in my view, would be worth the translation and deployment (particularly from a cost of data perspective).

Udedi's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 13/03/2017 - 18:37
(1) http://www.agtube.org/en
 

Hi Oscartaona

You observations are right that videos are way to go if information is going to reach many farmers.

In Malawi it is happening already farmers are able watch agriculture videos on their Mobile phones. The videos are in local languages such as Chichewa, Yao, Sena and Tumbuka. These videos are hosted on Access Agriculture website =. https://www.accessagriculture.org/There are young men who run shops to sell these videos. Most interest thing is that farmers are willng to pay to have the videos. 

Check out farmers testimonies:

(1) http://www.agtube.org/en/content/new-crop-mr-mpinda

2) http://www.agtube.org/en/content/rice-videos-phones

(3) http://www.agtube.org/en/content/roots-sungani-defeats-striga

(4) http://www.agtube.org/en/content/dj-thomzy

 

 For further reading check out these links:

(a) http://www.agroinsight.com/blog/?p=592

(b) http://www.agroinsight.com/blog/?p=581

(c)  http://www.agroinsight.com/blog/?p=634 

(d) http://www.agroinsight.com/blog/?p=728

(e) https://www.accessagriculture.org/publications

 

Kind Regards

Ronald Udedi

Blantyre - Malawi

 

 

cmupfunde's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: 01/03/2017 - 02:05
ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop system

My view especially on Zimbabwe is the need to first have a comprehensive robust modularized agricultural information database system as we currently don't have such a system as most of our knowledge is either hard copies or isolated electronic databases. Worse is our traditional knowledge which is dying with our fore parents. These modules will have horticulture module, cotton module, animal farming module etc and then agricultural Value added services which covers financing, marketing, commodity prices, weather etc. modules will cover full cycle calendar of activities expected in the type of farming addressed and VAS services are things that can be common to all farmers. The challenge is that most systems available are not trusted as they belong to individual entrepreneurs either seeking agri -insurance business or a platform to provide marketing services of crops that were probably financed by some shadowy money lenders who in most cases would not want the farmers to know the true value of their produce and therefore more inclined to sabotage other systems by talking nagatively about them. We still have one way non interactive communication and the bulk of it is mainly annoying full of marketing jargon in SMS or email. One thing l know is that farmers will invest if they see value in it. Farmers can invest in tablets and solar powered chargers if they know it can enhance their output quality, quantity and income. Developing countries depend mainly on organic fertilizers and instead of using that as an excuse there is an opportunity to e-track and e-tag organically produced horticulture products which can be sold at high prices in the developed world. Most horticulture produce is perishable and hence ICT will help the farmers to communicate just in time for picking to avoid loss. In terms of crop diseases farmers can take pictures and upload on to the crop diseases module in a similar fashion as we do on social media and they are responded to immediately by manning humans or robots for possible remedies. The module can be connected to an international database with interconnected experts - then we have connected horticulture systems. We have expertise dotted around globe and we need that connected farming intelligence. For instance we can have a pool of expertise on sub-Saharan agriculture for crops, diseases, marketing etc then we can have sustainable poverty alleviating response and avoid peace meal approach.

 

WORM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 18/02/2017 - 03:58
Role of ICTs in poor countries

Dear all,

To me, role of ICTs in worldwide trade helps poor countries too much from farmer to comercial group even helpless from goverment... Vietnam, we are for example, base on social network as FB, TW, Zalo, Viber, youtube... help us in touch with high technologies, market... just a farmer withought knowledge, but vietnamese farmer can make so many machine serve for their farm and region...beside that we sale product with higher price... we are not forced by China trader....

Rubber tree is a sample, if no ICTs, 2015 we destroyed all rubber farm because price for rubber is lowest from 1994 and now price is so high...

Generally, Thanks for ICTs helping us get a right to balance with developed countries...

Thanks for E-Agriculture create this topic for us to prsent our point of view...

A farmer from Vietnam.

WORM

ataab's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 01/03/2017 - 09:56
Tools and Application

Dear Colleagues

Good comments and contributions so far.
The impact of ICTs and media on transferring information and increasing people knowledge is clear e.g. in terms of time, efficacy etc. However, financing is always a dynamic issue especially in developing and undeveloped countries. In addition, in order to make the use of ICTs more helpful, the level of education in target groups need to be considered when deciding upon using type of tools for communication.

 

Innocent Chamisa's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 03/03/2017 - 10:13
On Behalf of Dr Peter Baker-Senior scientist-HRNS- Ascot.UK

Fellow Partcipants,

I'm working with the coffee and climate initiative (www.coffeeandclimate.org) - 
In terms of ICTs, we are developing two main lines.

1) Cheap field instrumentation - it's now becoming much more affordable to place temperature sensors in the field and measure the response to various adaptation trials. This link: https://public.tableau.com/profile/tobias.voigt#!/vizhome/coffeeclimate-... shows results of direct measurements of the effect of mulch treatments to lower soil temperatures, something we believe is very important to protect feeder roots. The devices used in is case are smart buttons (or i-buttons) that combine a sensor and datalogger. Thus very quick results can be obtained to see if adaptation methods are working.  A big surprise for us was how high soil temperatures were getting in some plots, well above thresholds for root damage.

There are now various devices available - the cheapest start at under EURO€50 for a temperature sensor that stores readings and transmits to a mobile phone - i.e. something that could be affordable for many farmers or their support orgs. Unfortunately we don't yet have an affordable soil moisture sensor, but are hopeful that costs of these will come down eventually. But even with just temperature it enables us to get a much better idea of how extreme conditions can be and devise ways to bring them down to more acceptable levels.

2) Spreadsheet & mobile enabled simulation for decision-making - we are developing simple heuristic software for farmers to understand risks. A fundamental problem for farmers is to figure out how to plan for the coming year, in terms of costs of inputs, prices and potential weather shocks. The basic approach is to work with groups of farmers, based on data from the previous year, to estimate cash flows and then develop this into an app, at first a very simple one to help them control costs, but eventually something more complete that would eventually count as a DSS - a decision support system.

This second approach is still in its early stages - I would be very interested to learn of anyone else using or developing something similar or who is interested in collaboration.

The really encouraging thing is that this technology will only get better and cheaper in the future, so it's time everybody started trying it out, even if only in a very limited way to start with.

Best regards,

Dr P.S. Baker Chief Science Consultant,

Initiative for Coffee and Climate www.coffeeandclimate.org

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Peter_Baker3

Director, Climate Edge Ltd www.climate-edge.co.uk

Benedictus's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/03/2017 - 09:21
My understanding and experiences in the ICTs role

I thank first the moderator and the case study contributor team for the heard work you done in opening discussion in this topic. I present you just my own experience in my area at North Kivu/ Congo-Kinshasa and especially in the Grand Nord.

As it is, we can't enjoy ICTs without having access in electricity; also the ability of reading and writing is one important things of enjoying it. 

In our region we are challenged by the electricity and most of those who have access on it don't use it comfortably (some of them use electricity just for home lighting, watch movies then information, charging telephone and domestic devices) but they get information trough the radio.

Horticulture products are producing by old man with an average age between 35-45 year. They are illiterates and unable to read or to write. They use mobile phone jut for call. Young people who knows to read and to write spend them time on social network. In this context we spend by creating an Agripreneur program which engages Youth in agriculture and especially horticulture crop production. For those who have Smartphone, we exchange agricultural production and crop marketing knowledge, issues and opportunities via sms in local network, whatsApp groups and facebook.

mahfujaparven01's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 04/03/2017 - 18:58
Urban Agriculture ,its different role & ICT

There are several pathways for climate mitigation and adaptation policy through Urban Agriculture. To reduce thecarbon footprint of food consumed in cities, production offood close to cities or within city-regions has potential toreduce the footprint. Likewise, instead of the traditionaloverhaul of organic wastes to landfills, cities can alsopromote nutrient recycling utilising the biomass from greenand rural areas. The recycling of waste and sewage sludge forUPAF can enhance environmental quality and the functioningof ecosystem services. Urban agriculture, especially citytree planting of multiple functional trees has a potential tosequester CO2, and to reduce impacts of heat waves. Thesepolicies and strategies would have to include conservationof urban forest patches to sustain the ecosystem servicesthey provide. A strategy for tree species mix is also equallyimportant since carbon sequestration capacity variesthrough the growth cycle of individual crop species.

Moreover,The energy-efficient nature of urban agriculture can reduce each city’s carbon footprint by reducing the amount of transport that occurs to deliver goods to the consumer.

 Plants absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and release breathable oxygen (O2). The process of Carbon Sequestration can be further improved by combining other agriculture techniques to increase removal from the atmosphere and prevent release of CO2 during harvest time.

2.

Green roofs as a means of pollution abatement,”  a rooftop containing 2000 m² of uncut grass has the potential to remove up to 4000 kg of particulate matter. According to the article, only one square meter of green roof is needed to offset the annual particulate matter emissions of a car.

3.The Urban Agriculture Network has defined urban agriculture as an industry that produces, processes, and markets food, fuel, and other outputs, largely in response to the daily demand of consumers within a town, city, or metropolis, on many types of privately and publicly held land and water bodies found throughout intra-urban and peri-urban areas. Typically urban agriculture applies intensive production methods, frequently using and reusing natural resources and urban wastes, to yield a diverse array of land-, water-, and air-based fauna and flora, contributing to the food security, health, livelihood, and environment of the individual, household, and community.

4.

Daily intake of a variety of fruits and vegetables is linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Urban agriculture is associated with increased consumption of fruits and vegetables  which decreases risk for disease and can be a cost-effective way to provide citizens with quality, fresh produce in urban settings.

People are more likely to try new vegetables when they take an active role in the planting and cultivation of an urban garden. Produce from urban gardens can be perceived to be more flavorful and desirable than store bought produce  which may also lead to a wider acceptance and higher intake. A Flint, Michigan study found that those participating in community gardens consumed fruits and vegetables 1.4 more times per day and were 3.5 times more likely to consume fruits or vegetables at least 5 times daily (p. 1).Garden based education can also yield nutritional benefits in children. An Idaho study reported a positive association between school gardens and increased intake of fruit, vegetables, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber among sixth graders.

Urban gardening improves dietary knowledge. Inner city youth of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota who were part of a community garden intervention were better able to communicate specific nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables on the body than those who had not participated in a community garden. Community gardeners were also found to consume fewer sweet foods and drinks in a Philadelphia study.

6.Urban agriculture also provides quality nutrition for low income households. Studies show that every $1 invested in a community garden yields $6 worth of vegetables, if labor is not considered a factor in investment.] Many urban gardens reduce the strain on food banks and other emergency food providers by donating shares of their harvest and provide fresh produce in areas that otherwise might be food deserts. The supplemental nutrition program Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have partnered with several urban gardens nationwide to improve the accessibility to produce in exchange for a few hours of volunteer gardening work.

7.

 

Urban agriculture may advance environmental justice and food justice for communities living in food deserts. First, urban agriculture may reduce racial and class disparities in access to healthy food. When urban agriculture leads to locally grown, fresh produce sold at affordable prices in food deserts, access to healthy food is not only a luxury for those who live in wealthy areas, thereby leading to greater equity in rich and poor neighborhoods.

Improved access to food through urban agriculture can also help alleviate psychosocial stresses in poor communities. Community members engaged in urban agriculture improve local knowledge about healthy ways to fulfill dietary needs. Urban agriculture can also better the mental health of community members. Buying and selling quality products between local producers and consumers allows community members to support one another, which may reduce stress. Thus, urban agriculture can help improve conditions in poor communities, where residents undergo higher levels of stress due to hopeless caused by a lack of control over the quality of their lives.

8.

Agroforestry,Intercropping and Ecosystem;

 

The use of trees and shrubs in agricultural systems help to tackle the triple challenge of

securing food security, mitigation and reducing the vulnerability and increasing the adatability ofagricultural systems to climate change. Trees in the farming system can help increase farm incomesand can help diversify production and thus spread risk against agricultural production or marketfailures. This will be increasingly important as impacts of climate change become more pronounced.Trees and shrubs can diminish the effects of extreme weather events, such as heavy rains, droughtsand wind storms. They prevent erosion, stabilize soils, raise infiltration rates and halt landdegradation. They can enrich biodiversity in the landscape and increase ecosystem stability.Trees can improve soil fertility and soil moisture through increasing soil organic matter.

Nitrogen-fixing leguminous trees and shrubs can be especially important to soil fertility where

there is limited access to mineral fertilizers. Improved soil fertility tends to increase agricultural

productivity and may allow more flexibility in the types of crops that can be grown. 

Agroforestry systems tend to sequester much greater quantities of carbon than agricultural

systems without trees. Planting trees in agricultural lands is relatively efficient and cost effectivecompared to other mitigation strategies, and provides a range of co-benefits important forimproved farm family livelihoods and climate change adaptation. There are several examples ofprivate companies supporting agroforestry in exchange for carbon benefits.

Agroforestry is therefore important both for climate change mitigation as well as for

adaptation through reducing vulnerability, diversifying income sources, improving livelihoods andbuilding the capacity of smallholders to adapt to climate change. However, agroforestry in manyregions is still constrained by local customs, institutions and national policies. There is an urgent need for capacity building, extension and research programmes to screen and to match species withthe right ecological zones and agricultural practices..

Last but not Least ,ICT now can play an important role to inform how to utilize different apps, networks, mobiles, services and applications in Urban Agriculturesystem.In the  Digital Era , Internet is more avialable in city rather than rural then City people can utlize internet service and gather huge knowldege about e-agriculture, rooftop uses,compost fertilizer,intercropping ,how to use kitchen vegetable wastes and wastes water to make compost fertilizer ,where is nursery ,weather condition and seasonal fruits ,vegetable plantation system ,all information are quiet avialble through internet. Now ICT makes life more easier ,reduces complex.But in a developing country ,there are some lacks in  broadband & wifi access,speed  than developed countries.

Greetings, Thanks & Best Regards.

Mahfuja Parven.

 

 

WORM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 3 days ago
Joined: 18/02/2017 - 03:58
Thank

Thank Mahfuja Parven

keevle354's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 21/11/2010 - 11:21
ICT for horticulture peasant

The characteristic of horticulture product is perishable then there's need fast decision to sold the product.  The fast information is really important to win the market competition, especiall about the sold price.  The role of ICT (incl. Phone cell) is key to receive, to collect and to determine of price information which the best sold price will we take.  The sold price is an important factor to get the highest profit. That mean, there's a tight or high relationship among  fast decision, perishable product, the best price, the highest profit and to  information power.

 

cmupfunde's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: 01/03/2017 - 02:05
Role of ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop

My second contribution looks at bridging the information gap among horticulture farmers across the globe, rigional blocks such as SADC and provinces within a country, kind of agricultural extension services without borders. ICT should be used for information interchange and twinning global regions with similar climate however one of them beng less productive. To feed the ever growing world population there should be a lot of coorperation among horticulturists and ICTs should be used to unite efforts by various supporting NGOs programs so that there is cross pollination of ideas and resource sharing to avoid duplication of effort.

zvavanyanger3's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 2 days ago
Joined: 05/10/2010 - 14:34
A new business and lifestyle order on many fronts

I hold the viewpoint that ICTs (broadly) will remain on the agricultural research and development initiatives for quite some time.  They represent a new business and lifestyle order – digital economy – where humans and machines/tools are inseparable, and depend on each other for “exploitation” purposes.

“Sustainable intensification” including that of horticulture crop based systems as one of the suggested solution to meeting needs related to production (food), business (profit), and aesthetic (creativity), must be explored in a greater measure.  Sustainable horticulture crop based systems should be given a fair hearing as to what it is able to contribute to the meeting the needs of an estimated 9 billion people by the year 2050, and other aesthetic means.  More so, we should take the approach/system for what the solution it presents and not necessarily, the hype it creates in the minds of policy makers and practitioners. 

From a strategic and systemic standpoint, ICTs are a “means to an end” and “an end to a means” in horticulture crop based systems.  This is within the “known” and “knowable” domains as presented to modern human history.  Essentially, both smallholder and commercial farmers should as a matter of principle assess in a pragmatic way the use and perceived benefits of using ICTs in such production and aesthetic systems.   

Again, generic merits and demerits of ICTs to smallholders and commercial farmers should be looked at the farm level, and taking into consideration each farmer’s context.  In essence, human-related concerns (such as inspiration and courage) and business concerns such as convenience and returns on investment) should be borne in mind when using ICTs in horticulture crop based systems.

ICTs are also instrumental in bringing knowledge, products, goods, and services to customers in a variety of ways.  They now epitomize the extent of modern civilization because, in a way, ICTs extend the idea that man is able to master his environment under certain conditions.  By extension, man is able to produce for his present and future needs. 

Last, ICTs have also brought together production and consumer in much more intimate ways.  As such, adaptable farmers and entrepreneurs who can capitalize on this development position themselves favorably in horticulture crop based systems. 

Santosh Ostwal - Ossian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/01/2012 - 20:54
ICT Applications for different crops and horticulture

We are working in the field of Agro Electronics since 25 years in India with major thrust on ICT for Irrigation by the brand, Nano Ganesh- A Mobile Based Remote Control System for the Water Pumps. During the course of this big time phase, we came across so many challenges faced by the farmers and they sought for the solutions. In all the ways, ICT was a major solution to solve their problems. I am listing and describing briefly how ICT is a magic for the farmers in sustainable crops.

It may be interesting and entertaining too while reading few of unbelievable ICT applications we have provided or witnessed in Indian horticulture. There are so many ICT applications but the following are few universal ones to throw light on the various possibilities.

1. Electronics Fencing for Banana Plot - The electronics fencing of galvanized wire along the perimeter of the farm of two to three acres having a banana plantation. This fencing has been charged by a high voltage such that it is not fatalistic but will provide a mild shock to animals or even a human being.The alert can be sent to the farmers mobile phone if there is some attempt of a breach.

2. Wild Animals Voice Sound Generator for areca nut and banana- In Goa State of India and forest prone agriculture area, there is a big challenge of monkeys spoiling the areca Nut and banana plantation. They easily cross the electronics fencing but are scared due to the loud sound of tiger or elephant. But, these monkeys are so clever that once they get acquainted with the cycles of the sounds, they are not scared. So, there are few ICTs in India creating different sounds at different time cycles so as to confuse the monkeys. The sounds are generated by an amplifier powered by solar and controlled by Remote control.

3. Weather forecast alert for Grapes and Mangos - In India, many times there is a weather change in the month of December when the flowers of mangos have just started blossoming. Sometimes in the month of March, the winds destroy the flowers of mango tending to huge loss of yield. Similarly, showers in December cause a big loss to budding grapes. A few years ago, it was a direct loss, but now with the help of weather forecast from different ICT service providers, farmers can proactively work on the coverings, emergency medicines, temporary curtains etc. to avoid the loss of flowers and buds.

4. Moisture Sensors in Drip Irrigation connected to Cloud (IOT)- The yield depends on the adequate quantity of water to the horticulture products. Accurate sensor controlled water through drip and sprinklers irrigation has helped a lot to Grape Growers in Nasik Region of Maharashtra State in India. The amount of water can be measured per day in winter, summer as well as sensed by the moisture sensors. There is a huge saving of water, soil minerals due to controlled irrigation. Wireless monitoring and controlling of irrigation has been achieved with the help of Nano Ganesh system.

5. ICT in Green House - Many rose gardens and strawberry farms in Western Maharashtra are developed in the controlled weather created by Green House Net sheds. Temperature, irrigation, humidity, light radiations etc. are controlled with the help of different equipment with ICT intelligence. Everything is well monitored from the urban office of the grower.

6. Sorting of fruits (Color, size, smell, weight etc.) - It is a tedious job to sort out the fruits as per color, size, quality and smell. I have seen some photo sensing machines as well as size sorters run with a full automation which gives fruits sorted out in different boxes along with an output in the form of digital data sent to the computer terminal.

7. Sequential timers for irrigation - If there are say 10 plots to be irrigated with less capacity of the water pump, every plot is irrigated one by one with solenoid valve control and water sensors. This data is put to the cloud for analytics.

8. Electrical Motor Pump Burning Prevention Device with alert - There is a big loss of yield if a water pump is burnt due to erratic power in the peak period. There is a vast network of the pumps and electrical cables in the agriculture farms burning of motors tend to not only headache of irrigation but expenses in repairs, logistics and time loss. In India, almost 80% water pumps are equipped with ICT protection devices to prevent burning of motors and sending alerts on mobile phones if any voltage or current crosses the limits.

9. Communication with the overseas market for Grapes - Farmers have now efficiently established the communication with the domestic and overseas market. They can take a wise decision in the group or an individual about driving the products to the logistics network.

10. Health-care of plants and soil - Though it is still in incubating stage, ICT for the health care of plants and soil mineral contents are being on the way to farmers. In sugarcane belt in India, the contents of the particular soil minerals have been totally diluted tending to loss of fertility of the soil due to overwatering. ICT role is important to diagnose the minerals in the plants as well as soil material. Different electronics sensors along with chemical processes are most useful in deciding the fertilizers input to the soil.

11. Postharvest Management and storage - Temperature data of refrigeration and storage along with data of control and monitoring during the logistics as well as static storage is a vital sector of ICT applications.

There are so many localized ICT innovations used in the agriculture that few of them seem to be really scalable across the globe.

simone_sala's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 04/03/2012 - 03:20
ICT for fruit/vegetable sorting

Thanks Santosh for linking to so many horticultural-relevant ICT-based techniques.
You mentioned the use of ICT for fruit sorting - and I can confirm there are both academic studies and application in this field. Here is a link to an application and to a couple of studies (a, b, c).

PS If you any link to the application developed in Goa using wild animals voice sound generator I'd really be happy to learn more about these experiences.

PS Congratulations for your amazing work with Nano Ganesh. I am a big fan of your work!

Santosh Ostwal - Ossian's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/01/2012 - 20:54
Ultra modern scarecrows - Animal Sounds for protecting crops

In India, traditionally scarecrows are used in the farm place for protecting crops against birds or animals.

Scarecrow - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarecrow  These are statues or weird shaped figures placed in the center of the farms which seems like an actual person standing in the place. Earlier, animals used to get scared with this figures. But, now animals have become intelligent and wise enough like human beings...smiley . They are not scared by static things like a scarecrow but need something dynamic to get scared. So, different sounds of animals placed nearby the scarecrows make it dynamic and animals run away from the farms. In Goa, it has been a Taylormade sound generator made by a local hobbyist from the different sounds available online. He has added an amplifier for louder sound.

There is an interesting story about monkeys in Goa and a farmer Pandurang Patil where Wild Animal Generator is played at a particular time by a mobile remote control (Nano Ganesh). First of all, a leader of the monkeys enters into the farm zone and looks around the farm for banana food and checks for any human factor. If everything is alright, he calls his team of about 50-60 monkeys with a particular whistle. A farmer Pandurang Patil who stays at about 800 ft away from the farm is well acquainted with this habit of the monkeys. As soon as leader monkey blows a whistle, a farmer switches on the amplifier for wild animals voice by Nano Ganesh remote control. Instantly, all the monkeys run away. There is a particular time of entering monkeys into the farms, so Patil also plays the sounds accordingly. After about 10-15 days, monkeys did not even look at Patil's farm and he is too happy. But, few of farmers have managed to keep a heap of wasted and cut bananas as a food for the monkeys at the extreme locations away from the farms.

So, ICT has really played a dominant role to save ripen fruits ready for cutting.

Jonh-W-'s picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/03/2017 - 16:53
reply to simone

https://youtu.be/cjapPH6wyGA

Though  not directly linked to SCPI-Hortcrops ,in response to Simone and building up from the submission by  Santosh , l would  like to refer you to this case l find really amazing and interesting-use of simple generator to solve the Human-Wildlife conflict under  agric system...

"Richard Turere, a young Maasai man who lives in the Kenya savanna next to a national park invents a practical way to save his cattle from the lions by applying his love and self study of electronics. He figured out how to fix and make electronics through dismantling several household appliances and invented the "lion lights"
 'a fence made of basic pieces (solar charging cells, flashlight parts), which quickly and effectively scares lions away from his father's cattle. Richard's dream is to be an aircraft engineer.' (description taken from Ted website.)His natural ability to connect through storytelling and humour is something to be admired." Cheers.

 

Levison's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: 06/03/2017 - 21:42
Role of ICTs in Sustainable Intensification of Horticulture

Thanks to Dr. Baudoin for such a thought-provoking discussion and to all the wonderful contributions so far.

ICTs will play a pivotal role in the sustainable intensification of horticultural crop systems by ensuring that the data captured on the data loggers is shared among the relevant parties for interpretation or for further processing. This means that research work and farm management is no more localized, many people can equally contribute to the underlying process even though they are not in the same place. The internet has provided the possibility to create databases of all necessary information and have this information more readily available. This information can be used for the purposes of building models for forecasting and projection of various farm outputs. This will, in turn, contribute to the efficiency of horticultural systems.  Communication has also made it possible to disseminate information on plant disease outbreak, weather, planting time etc.  ICTs also contribute in terms of providing a nexus in the value chain. This would mean that there is more coordination among the players and access to markets for the farmers, case in point is "La Ruche qui dit oui" in France.  In the case of developing countries, the introduction of mobile money transfers has made it easier for farmers to instantly access their cash. This conveniently facilitates financial transactions for the purposes personal use and purchase of inputs.

 

Innocent Chamisa's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 03/03/2017 - 10:13
Week -1- closing remarks and Intro to week-2-

Esteemed Colleagues, 

Our sincere thanks go to all of you for the active participation , informative and the open exchange of views during the first week of our Global discussion.Indeed the quintessential role of ICTs-in the sustainable intensification of horticulture crop based systems  cannot  be emphasised more.

Moving on, we are equally excited of the week ahead  and we would like to kindly remind you that from Monday the  13th to  Friday the 17th  of March , we will take this discussion to  an even  more interesting phase . Where we are kindly asking you  to share the practical examples / success stories on ICT technologies and / innovative practices  that have been used /in use for  sustainably intensifying  horticulture crop-based systems.( mainly fruits , vegetables, roots and tubers) for both small holder and commercial farmers in your respective localities. For easier readability of your cases/stories,  may  we suggest that you succinctly describe the following when sharing your  case : have the ICT technologies / innovative practices you are sharing  proved to work well and produced good results, can they be recommended as models? Are they successful experiences that has been tested and validated in the broad sense and deserves to be shared so that a greater number of people can adopt it? Alternatively, have these ICT technologies / innovative practices demonstrated a high degree of success in a single setting and guarantee the possibility of replication in the same setting. 

You may want to further  include details on what has been done, where, how, who, when and the results/ impacts of  the ICT technologies / practices.

Once again we are happy to re-introduce our first case study providers :
1.    Dr Azzam Saleh Ayasa - Head of Programme Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) │West Bank and Gaza Strip Mount of Olives .Jerusalem.
2.    Prof Manuel. R. Reyes, Ph.D. Research. AgroEcological Engineer. SIIL Coordinator, Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification CE SAIN, Cambodia. Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL).Kansas State University.USA
3.     Mr Hasib Ahsan -ICT Head of Operations -mPower Social Enterprises Ltd-ICT Head of Operations, USAID Agricultural Extension Project (ICT in Agriculture Extension).Bangladesh. 
4.    Mr Keron Bascombe, Agricultural Blogger, Creator and Editor of the blog Tech4agri.com,Trinidad and Tobago- Country representative in the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR) Steering committee.
5. Mr Erick Zvavanyange, Country representative under the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development. Zimbabwe.

We are looking forward to continue learning from  your practical examples/ success stories. 

On Behalf of the forum moderators. 

Innocent Chamisa
Rural and Urban Crop and Mechanization Systems Team
Plant Production and Protection Division.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).Rome. Italy

 

leisaarmstrong's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/12/2009 - 08:17
urban and vertical farming

Hi everyone, 

I have just joined the forum,  

I am interested to know what experiences you have had with the the use of ICT to improve peri urban and urban agriculture/horticulture systems. We have started to explore the potential of vertical farming and community gardens in Australia and India.  We are interested to see how Decision support systems and real time monitoring for climate and fertilizer and irrigation can improve production and quality of the crops 

Lydia Kitonga's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 20/02/2017 - 02:02
Role of ICT

Briefly, I think ICT can be used by both small scale and commercial farmers for keeping farm records especially in keeping track of the daily/weekly cultural activities carried out on specific crops. This facilitates the quick sharing of such informtion whenever needed and may help the small scale farmers in meeting the traceability requirements set by the export market.

technology4agri's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 25/02/2013 - 09:58
The powerful role of ICT use in the caribbean

Dear All

It was a pleasure to read some of the many solutions that were provided by participants. I'd like to share another case/field example of ICT use in agriculture here in the Caribbean.

RevoFarm provides weather and market information as it relates to project windspeed, rainfall, UV index etc via SMS stext messaging system. This information is provided by their business partner in the USA who analysis this data through their systems. 

As it relates to pricing information, farmers have been able to get up to 50% more in the market by knowing the price via RevoFarm's ICT system. Prior to this producers would have to depend on the buyers to access price information and this was sometimes inaccurate.
 
Farmers are paying 200 Jamaican dollars per month which is equivalent to $2US per month to access which RevoFarm refers to as their basic services. There are other services with a larger range of fees but this is the minimum making it extremely affordable. The aim is to reach all farmers no matter their level of busines and to assist in boosting their income.
 
Clearly in this case the cost of technology is not a barrier to its access, while its sutiability is of the best fit. This also exemplifies the power of knowledge and information sharing which has an empowering effect on many differnt types of stakeholders, hence hence its powerful role in this situation. Despite these benefits the uptake of new technologies have always been quite slow in the regional agricultural sphere with some island sectors ahead of others.
 
"The uptake of the technology is not as we want. We have approx 1000 farmers on our platform. We have not gathered farmers via advertising or traditional marketing just yet. Our farmers are through our current network. We are now working with key stakeholders/partners to push our services out to boost our user numbers by the end of this year."
--From Mr. Ricardo Gowdie, Co owner Revo Farms
 
Best
Keron
Tech4agri
 
 

 

saripalli's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 26/11/2008 - 17:40
Technology

Technology is most important.The one which we can implement at present is making maure/soil mixture out of bio degradables. The second and most important is drip irrigation.Making the roots wet and using sensors at 03.m away to know the degree of wetness,and stopping water supply.These are very essential,where there is starvation for water,and where there is more populations in cities. Using the waste water by using simple storage and filtration systems apartment blocks can use the waste water for horticulture.

rtdjoy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2012 - 11:20
ICTs for Sustainable Intensification of Horticulture

ICTs play an important role in agriuclture.  ICTs are being used by farmers, enrrepreneurs, extension workers and other stakeholders to disseminate information on various innovation in agricultural technology.  Most common ICTs being used by the majority are radio and TV.  Majority of the farmers own a radio.  Anytime they listen to the radio.  Even if they are on the field working they listen to the radio most especially the School on the Air (SOA).  If they are at home, they watch TV for latest news and updates.  There are TV programs which focus on agriculture.  Good paractices are being shown here with the hope that these will be replicated on the farmers' fields.  Latest technologies, research breakthroughs, innovations and enhancements are also being shown to update our farmers and other stakeholders.  Mobile phones are also common among the farmers in the Philippines.  Mobile phones provide easy exchange of information among farmers  and expedite communication among them. In fact, through use of mobile phones by dialing 8888, they could air their issues and concerns, ask questions anytime and there is immediate action or reply.  The Rice Crop Manager (RCM)  requires the use of mobile phones or internet by the farmers.  Wth the use of mobile phones or internet, they could easily get information such as the correct amoount of fertilizers to be applied on their farms and other pertinent information.   Internet enables rural communities stay up-to-date and to receive information on technology updates, market prices and other vital agricultural information.  Internet can facilitate dialogue among communities and help to share information between the government planners, rural development agencies, researchers and technical experts.However, for those living in the remotest areas, the problem is connectivity.  The radio is the popular channel of communication.  Even if there is no power, they could still listen to the radio which is battery-operated.  But there are some challenges to be addressed such as digital divide, capacity building due to lack of competence and expertise on ICTs by the farmers, inadequate communication and power infrastructure, limited financial resources allocated for ICTs, and others.  For capacity building, I have seen in one of the rural communities in our province, a "Computer Education on the Wheels".  The van equipped with computers and accessories is traveling from one place to another place teaching farmers and residents in the community computer skills.  Indeed, ICTs are important tools in improving the productivity of the agriculture sector.    

bonzali2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: 21/02/2013 - 13:00
e-Agriculture Programme in Ghana

Minitry of Food and Agriculture, Republic of Ghana

Vision

The vision of the Ministry is a modernised agriculture culminating in a structurally transformed economy and evident in food security, employment opportunities and reduced poverty. read more at www.mofa.gov.gh 

Mission

MOFA’s Mission is to promote sustainable agriculture and thriving agribusiness through research and technology development, effective extension and other support services to farmers, processors and traders for improved livelihood.

GHANA E-AGRICULTURE PROGRAMME

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) Information Communication and Technology Unit has implemented the E-Agriculture Programme which is an ICT initiative through the West African Agriculture Productivity Programme (WAAPP) with funds from the World Bank. 

The programme covers all aspects of Agriculture in Ghana with focus on crops, livestock, vegetable production and Gender. 

The main objective of the E-Agriculture Programme is to provide affordable, prompt and efficient agricultural service delivery through the use of the internet; Information Communication Technologies (ICT’s). This gives the actors of the agriculture value chain access to comprehensive and up-to-date information on Crop and Animal Production, Market Prices, Farm Management Techniques and Practices, and Traceability in the Ghanaian Agriculture.

The E-Agriculture Programme has a concept to embrace models that improve the communication and learning process of the actors in the agricultural value chain. This will help in bridging the gap between knowledge generators and users, where ICT is used to improve Agriculture, Food Security and Rural Development.

Horticulture exports from Ghana have grown tremendously since 1997. Pineapples and citrus fruits form the major bulk of horticultural exports, and these are sent to countries using air and sea route. The government has taken proactive steps to help horticultural exporters by linking them to the SPEG. This enables a ship to anchor at the port of Tema, where one or more holds are loaded with the export and then transporte

 

Problems with Horticultural Exports from Ghana

Quality is a major issue when it comes to horticulture. The biggest challenge that Ghana faces today is educating the growers about quality issue. Using ICT platforms and portals can help farmers and growers on best farming and handling practices. The national e-Agriculture programme centre has a call center facility with a toll free number where farmers call for information on various Agricultural extension and advisory services. Othe private sector organizations such as ESOKO and VODAFON has call centres serving the purpose of e-Agriculture in Ghana. We need to increatse private sector participation on ICT applications in Sustainable Horticulture production.   

The components of the E-Agriculture Program Platform include the following:

  • E-Farm Information (Farmer Audio Library/Interactive Voice Response System [IVR]); where an interested person calls a specific toll free line and is taken through the procedures of the desired crop / animal production in their local languages, anywhere and at any time.
  • E-Field Extension; where extension officers are equipped with modern technologies and application for farmer data collection and report on occurrences on individual farms to boost accurate and prompt response to field needs and early control systems to safeguard food security.
  • Call Centre; where the public can call the toll free line and get all the information needed concerning agriculture from the call centre agents, in whatever local language they can best communicate in. You can call the toll free number and IVR system on 1848 and 30037 in Ghana to access any information in Agriculture
  • E-Learning and Resource Centre; a centre for information and technology training to promote youth in agriculture.
  • Web Portal; for the publishing of news and current activities in the agricultural sector and have the information on all actors in the agricultural value chain.

 

THE IMPACT/BENEFITS OF E-AGRICULTURE

FARMER:

Greater access to expert information, services, and best practices. This project has made available a lot of information for farmer to make their work much easier. There are three main sources of information;

 

  1. The Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  2. The web portal
  3. The call centre

These sources have been made available to provide the expert information needed to make the farmer’s work much easier and more effective. Reducing the cost of trying remedies by the right information to remedy the situation at hand.

• A direct connection to a trusted supplier of seeds and fertilizer

• Access to cultivation best practices (land preparation, soil testing, best seeds and fertilizers, etc.)

• The benefits of aggregation, which drove better bargains

• Reduced fertilizer, pesticide, labour, and other costs, thanks to higher-quality seeds and improved processes based on best-practice information

 

 

EXTENSION OFFICER:

E-agriculture has reduced the work load on most extension officers as they wouldn’t necessarily need to return to their labs or various source of information/remedy before giving the farmers the solution to their problems.

It has made available:

• Direct access to otherwise unreachable farmers

• The ability to test and validate academic research and innovation in real world applications

• The opportunity to solve practical problems and share best practices with aggregated groups of farmers

PROCESSOR:

E-agriculture has proved very essential to the various processors in the agricultural sector. Their work has been made easier and more convenient.

 

This project has created the:

• Ability to directly and cost-effectively manufacture produce in bulk

• Ability to optimize market efficiency by connecting buyers and sellers

• Direct, inexpensive, and transparent access to larger groups of farmers

• Better forecasting for greater efficiency and fewer losses

• Stronger relationships with farmers and Technology companies

• New business opportunities using a proven model that increases readiness for technology adoption

• Ability to reach new customer base early, for longer-term benefits

• Opportunity to achieve business and social benefits by increasing access to technology

 

THE GENERAL PUBLIC:

The general public has directly and indirectly been impacted by e-agriculture. The various sources of information aren’t just limited to farmers but also anyone who needs any form of information about agriculture. Whether it’s about starting a farm, taking care of their pets, purchasing of agro-products, etc. the enquiries can be made without any problem, thanks to this project.

Submitted by Yussif Abubakar

ICT Unit, MoFA

 

e-Agriculture's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 12/08/2010 - 13:04
Forum Closure: ICTs in the horticulture crop based systems

Dear Participants,

The online discussion on, “The role of Information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the Sustainable Intensification of Crop Production (SCPI)” has officially ended.

This has been a very fascinating discussion, looking at the intriguing, qualitative and insightful contributions from all of you. The sharp increase in the number of people joining the e-Agriculture platform over the course of the three weeks as well as the remarkable enthusiasm, with which you discussed the various issues put in evidence the significant role of ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop-based systems.

Indeed, reading from your contributions, there has been many ICTs in use and many more will emerge, all adapted to different contexts, scale and cropping systems. This shows us that we cannot have “a one size fit all solution” for all the issues in the sustainable intensification of horticulture crop systems. Quite a number of you agreed that, to increase horticultural production sustainably there is an need of embracing ICTs, as it offers and promises a multitude of advantages towards achieving our global goal, ending hunger by sustainable intensification of crop production, amidst of the changing climate.

We received a total number of 75 contributions from participants from the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago and Vietnam.

Below you can find the short summaries from each week for those who had no time to follow the entire discussion.

Discussion Week Summary of discussion
Week 1 ( The role of ICTs in horticulture) Read here
Week 2 (ICT case studies in horticulture)  Read here
Week 3 (Challenges for ICTs adoption in horticulture) Read here
  • All the contributions received have been archived and remain accessible here.
  • For a short overview of the cases shared during this forum you can read here

On behalf of the moderating team, allow me to express our gratitude once again to all who actively participated in this forum. Thank you for your time, your dedication and efforts to share your experiences with the Community of Practice. We hope you have also learnt a lot from the discussions.

We look forward to welcome you all in future online discussions.

With best wishes,

Forum Moderators

Topic locked