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Welcome to the “WSIS+10 Forum” sponsored by the Grameen Foundation and FAO. Join us from 25 November through 6 December.

Over the last several years, there has been significant progress in improving communication and decision making in rural areas through the application of new technologies. Multi-stakeholder partnerships have formed, and time and money have been invested. Now more than ever we need to reflect on our experiences and strategize for the future.
 
What have we learned? What are the obstacles that still need to be overcome? Is everyone benefiting equally from these advances in technology?

In 2014 and 2015 reviews of our successes and failures in improving agricultural and rural development with ICT will be part of the WSIS+10 events and the MDG review. Multiple local, national and regional events will provide inputs. The e-Agriculture Community, has been invited to make its own inputs, and the Grameen Foundation has kindly offered to lead this activity.
 
Our guest Subject Matter Experts will contribute to the discussion, including:
•    Md. Shahid Uddin Akbar, CEO, Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development
•    Lee Babcock, Managing Director, LHB Associates
•    Stephane Boyera, CEO, SB Consulting
•    Esteban Gallego, MANA Manager (Regional Food Security Program)
•    Enrique Hennings, Global Producer Finance Manager, Fairtrade International
•    Kiringai Kamau, Value Chain Analyst, VACID Africa
•    Megan Mayzelle, e-Afghan Ag, UC Davis
•    Hillary Miller-Wise, VP, Information Services, Grameen Foundation
•    Pablo Ramirez, Ethical Sourcing Manager, Starbucks
•    Rachel Sibande, Chief of Party, Agribusiness Systems International's Malawi TEXTs programs
•    Gerard Sylvester, FAO Asia-Pacific
•    John Tull, Director, Mobile Agriculture Innovation, Grameen Foundation
•    Rachel Zedeck, Founder, Backpack Farm Agriculture Program

A synthesis will be prepared following the debate and a policy brief, which will take into account key initiatives, recommendations and conclusions, will be prepared for use in the WSIS+10 High Level Event scheduled for April 2014.

The forum is moderated by Juan Forero (Grameen Foundation) and Michael Riggs (FAO).

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126 Question 4 (opens...
by Juan Forero
09/12/2013 - 15:50
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Join this discussion from 20 to 31 May 2013.

Smallholder farmers are the world’s largest group of working-age poor. Much of the world’s food supply depends on their efforts, yet a lack of financial services often stymies their attempts to make productivity-enhancing investments and to smooth their consumption between periods of plenty and scarcity. Capital-constrained farmers minimize risk instead of maximizing return.
 
Studies have identified four kinds of financial services that farmers need to achieve their economic goals: credit, savings, transfer and payment facilities, and insurance.
 
ICT has created the potential to deliver a greater diversity of financial products to greater numbers of rural clients than conventional financial service providers have been able to reach. ICT can also enhance the government’s capacity to monitor and evaluate financial services provided to rural clients and design effective financial policies and regulations for the rural sector. [Source: ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook module 7.]
 
In discussion with our subject matter experts, we will identify innovative practices that use ICT to enable rural financial services and micro-insurance; and, learn about ICT-related challenges and what is being done to address these.
 
Subject Matter Experts
   Ron Bielens, consultant
   Anita Campion, Founder, AZMJ
   Saleh Gashua, Secretary General, AFRACA
   Juliet Kyokunda, Microinsurance Agency
   Calvin Miller, Senior Rural Finance Officer, FAO
   Won-Sik Noh, Secretary General, APRACA
   Maria Pagura, Senior Program Officer, World Bank
   Michael Tarazi, Senior Policy Specialist, CGAP
   Roger Thomas Moyes, consultant, World Bank
 
This is the 6th forum in a series of online discussions being organized by the World Bank and FAO, and hosted in the e-Agriculture platform. The forum builds on Module 7 of the ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook.

To participate you need to be registered and log in to this site. Registration is simple at http://www.e-agriculture.org/user/register
If you have questions or need assistance, contact us at info@e-agriculture.org

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69 Question 5 (opens...
by Michael Riggs
03/06/2013 - 09:30
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Preparatory discussion 25 February – 08 March 2013

These activities are organized by CTA in collaboration with the FAO, the World Bank, the East African Farmers’ Federation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (Rwanda), The Ministry of Communication (Ghana), the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), the NEPAD Agency and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA/ISTD).

[Scroll down to enter the discussion directly.]

This discussion will gather opinions and recommendations from a wide audience of global ICT and agriculture stakeholders and identify additional initiatives and issues that could be discussed.
 
Even though in most ACP countries there are no specific ICT for agriculture strategies, the background report commissioned by CTA, prior to the workshop, informs that e-agriculture strategy initiatives have been or are being put in place in a few countries such as Ghana, Mali, Ivory Coast, Rwanda. Moreover, in most ICT policies developed with the support of organizations such as the UNECA, IICD, UNDP etc., there are provisions on sectoral strategies for agriculture. The report also illustrates that there is a lack of understanding or a lack of interest, and different approaches on that issue.
 
The specific questions to be addressed during the debate are:
 
Week 1:  The concept, need and state of adoption of e-agriculture strategies in ACP countries and beyond
1. Why are national e-agriculture strategies (also referred to as “ICT for agriculture strategies” or “cyber-strategies for agriculture”) needed for the agricultural sector to fully realize the benefits of ICTs?
2. What examples of ICT strategies targeting the agricultural sector do we have in ACP and in non-ACP countries (“ACP” stands for “Africa, Caribbean and Pacific”)?
3. What are the key target areas and value chain segments for these e-agriculture strategies? And Why?
 
Week 2: Stakeholders, challenges and lessons learned for formulating and implementing inclusive e-agriculture strategies
4. What are the key challenges faced in formulating and implementing these strategies/policies and what lessons learned from on-going or past processes?
5. Stakeholder roles: What are the roles of ICT and agricultural stakeholders in e-agriculture strategy formulation, implementation and evaluation? How can we ensure the full participation of farmers and other non-governmental stakeholders ? What are the role(s) of the Ministry in charge of ICT and the one in charge of Agriculture? What role(s) for international stakeholders?
6. What key policy recommendations can be made to support the implementation of effective e-agriculture strategies or policies?
 
Subject Matter Experts from various organizations will contribute to the discussions. A synthesis will be prepared following the debate and a policy brief, which will take into account key initiatives, recommendations and conclusions, will be prepared following the organization of the ICT Observatory meeting.
 
Subject Matter Experts:
• Benjamin Addom, consultant, ICT for Agriculture
• Justin Chisenga, Regional Office for Africa, FAO
• Aparajita Goyal, Economist, Agricultural and Environment Services, World Bank
• Stella Kamuyu Wanjau, East African Farmer Federation (EAFF)
• Ken Lohento, ICT4D Programme Coordinator, CTA
• Anju Mangal, ICT4D Officer, Secretariat of the Pacific Community
• Mary Rucibigango, Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda
• Issah Yahaya, Director, Policy Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation, Ministry of Communications, Ghana
• Representative of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA/ISTD)

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204 Question 6 (opens...
by Michael Riggs
20/05/2013 - 19:16
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This was the fifth in a series of online discussions that stem from the launch of the World Bank's ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook and the growing demand for knowledge on how to use ICT to improve agricultural productivity and raise smallholder incomes. 12-23 November 2012

Producer organizations play an important role in tackling the systemic causes of poverty, because they give farmers—men and women—a legitimate voice in shaping pro-poor rural policies.  Producer organizations can function more efficiently by using information communication technologies (ICT) to attract and retain a wider membership, generate more funds, and provide better services to their members. 

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475 Question 3 (opens...
by kiringai
20/05/2013 - 19:13
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This was the fourth in a series of online discussions that stem from the launch of the World Bank's ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook and the growing demand for knowledge on how to use ICT to improve agricultural productivity and raise smallholder incomes. 17-28 September 2012

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can expand communication, cooperation, and ultimately innovation among the wide array of actors in agriculture. Building on Module 6 of the "ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook", this forum explored how ICT can improve the concepts and operations discussed in the Agricultural Innovation Systems Sourcebook.

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207 Question 2 (opens...
by kiringai
20/05/2013 - 19:13
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This was the third in a series of discussions following the publication of the "ICT in Agriculture" Sourcebook, responding to the growing demand for knowledge on how to use ICT to improve agricultural productivity and raise smallholder incomes. 11-22 June 2012

New ICT tools such as mobile phones, GIS, repositories, and a variety of software application are making data collection and M&E activities easier and less expensive to implement. This forum explored how these tools can be used, along with the challenges associated.

 

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82 Question 1: ICTs...
by rob_kib
20/05/2013 - 19:13
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This forum has been part of a collaboration between the World Bank, FAO and the e-Agriculture Community, carrying out a series of online forums to further develop resources for the ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook - 5 to 16 March 2012
 
This forum explored how information and communication technologies (ICT) can support "green growth" and climate-smart agriculture. Climate-smart agriculture seeks to increase productivity while reducing contributions to climate change. Success is essential in order to provide enough food for the world’s population and to mitigate environmental damage. ICT holds real promise in two particular areas: as tools for land use planning and management; and, as risk management tools for climate change adaptation. 

 

 

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This forum has been part of a collaboration between the World Bank, FAO and the e-Agriculture Community, carrying out a series of online forums to further develop resources for the ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook - 5 to 16 December 2011

This forum follows module 9, beginning with the need for and impact of ICT in agricultural marketing from the perspectives of producers, consumers, and traders. It continues to look at mobile phones as a marketing tool; evidence that ICT is changing logistics and transaction costs; the use of ICTs for market research (both for acquiring immediate market information and acquiring market intelligence over time); and the use of ICT to make input supply and use more effective. This is a unique opportunity to share with The World Bank and others your own case studies, challenges you have faced, and leading trends you have identified.

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94 Question 10:...
by Kelly Wanda
19/12/2011 - 21:10
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The Benefits of Forming Strong Partnerships to Create Sustainable and Scalable Information Advisory Services 21 November to 2 December, 2011 

The mFarmer Initiative, a partnership between GSMA, USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) was set up to support mobile operators and agricultural partners in launching mobile information services that benefit farmers and are commercially viable. This forum initiated a discussion around the types of partnerships that are conducive to creating sustainable and scalable mobile information and advisory services for farmers. The forum focused on the different roles of each partner, namely mobile network operators (MNOs) and agricultural organizations, the assets that each bring to the partnership, and the challenges currently experienced.

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133 Introductions and...
by e-Agriculture
15/12/2011 - 15:01
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Katalyst and e-Agriculture organized this online forum to discuss the challenges of linking impact with the use of ICTs in agriculture - 25 September to 6 October 2011

This forum discussed the present practices and critical issues (regarding both implementation and monitoring) of ICT initiatives in agriculture. Forum participants concluded that ICT will only become an effective and mainstream tool for poverty reduction and sustainable development if the proponents of ICT for development can provide more rigorous evidence, strategies, benchmarks, indicators, and promising practices that are directly relevant to the core poverty-reduction and development priorities of developing countries and their international partners. 

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92 What is the most...
by jassica
26/02/2014 - 06:20
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e-Agriculture et le Centre Technique de Coopération Agricole et Rurale (CTA) ont organisé une discussion en ligne en français, du 9 au 31 mai 2011.

Ce forum avait comme objectif participer à l’amélioration des politiques et des processus concernant l’utilisation des TIC et du genre au service de l’agriculture et du développement rural, afin d’avoir un impact positif sur les moyens d’existence en milieu rural. L’accès universel aux Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (TIC) est en passe de devenir un droit humain, et Les Nations unies encouragent un accès universel à l'Internet. La perception la plus répandue est que l’Internet et les autres TIC peuvent apporter des changements positifs ; et en milieu rural, ces changements touchent les moyens d’existence des communautés et des femmes en particulier. 

 

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175 Rapport de...
by kbheenick
20/05/2013 - 19:13
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This e-consultation focused on the topic of sharing and interoperability of data and information for agricultural research for development - 4 to 15 April 2011.

The discussions' summary served as a background document for an international Expert Consultation held in Beijing during the month of June, 2011. The e-consultation centered around the following questions: What are we sharing and what needs to be shared? What are the prospects for interoperability in the future? What are the emerging tools, standards and infrastructures? What actions should now be facilitated by the CIARD Task Forces?

 

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220 Question 1: What...
by jimcory
21/04/2011 - 15:40
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Is it possible to effectively analyze the socio-economic impact of ICT in rural areas?
This forum was organized by GTZ on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and partners. 24 November to 1 December 2010.
 
This online discussion followed a successful face-to-face conference "ICT for Rural Economic Development" held in Berlin in 2010. During this forum, the facilitators encouraged participants to share their insights relating to the socio-economic impact of ICT in rural areas, methods of analysis, and how to make this information widely accessible and available.
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96 3. How can we...
by moreno7502
02/12/2010 - 19:33
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Quality Promises & Considerations in Learning Repositories and Portals (AgLR 2010). Organized by AgLR-Task Force and e-Agriculture. 6-29 October 2010. 
 
This forum was organized to seek a common understanding of the quality considerations for all the stakeholders in learning repositories and portals on agricultural and environmental issues. Participants shared guidance, standards, technologies, tools, recommendations, and good practices for: building quality into the creation process of learning resources; creating processes & tools to ensure quality in the resource annotation, curation and preservation life cycles; setting up quality processes on a repository level; defining quality criteria and processes on a web portal level; assessing the quality of learning resources; taking advantage of users' feedback as a component of the quality status of either a repository or a portal.
Subforums: Phase I (39), Phase II (31), Resources (8), Guidelines & FAQs (1)
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Exploring some of the challenges faced when implementing projects aimed at empowering women in ICTs in relation to rural livelihoods. Organized by e-Agriculture and GenARDIS. 5-16 July 2010

For Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to benefit women in agricultural production and to challenge existing gender imbalances in rural livelihoods, it is necessary to understand women’s status and the gender roles and responsibilities in the society. Thus, when designing interventions, projects need to consider that women are integral to households, families and communities and that gender issues are not fixed, varying from community to community

Subforums: Introductions (40), Discussions (97), Survey (9), Resources (10), Guidelines (1)
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e-Agricultura en colaboración con IICA llevó a cabo un foro virtual que analizó las principales oportunidades y retos de las intervenciones de las Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación (TIC) en las cadenas de valor agrícolas. Agosto, 2010.
 
Con un enfoque especial en el uso de las TIC en el desarrollo rural, este evento brindó una oportunidad única para el intercambio de conocimientos sobre buenas prácticas, expectativas y retos para el futuro sobre el tema, explorando a su vez las experiencias de los sectores públicos y privados y de las comunidades rurales en general. 
 
 

 

Subforums: Presentaciones (53), Discusiones (125), Materiales (11)
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This forum discussed the key opportunities and challenges of ICT interventions in agricultural value chains with a special focus on the most beneficial interventions in rural areas. 7-18 December 2009.

The discussions proved to be a key opportunity for knowledge sharing on good practices, presenting expectations of future challenges and outcomes, and considered the critical role of policy makers, rural service providers, and the agricultural community at large. The e-Agriculture team is currently working on the final summary of the forum.

 

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El IICA y e-Agricultura organizaron este foro para discutir las formas de empleo de telefonía móvil que ofrecen mayores beneficios y oportunidades de desarrollo al sector rural. Abril, 2009.
 
El objetivo primordial del foro fué el de compartir perspectivas sobre resultados y obstáculos que se pueden encontrar en referencia a el impacto de la telefonía móvil en áreas rurales, y además, el de describir el rol que los gobiernos, los proveedores de servicios en áreas rurales, y la comunidad agrícola en general deben de tomar. Los teléfonos móviles representan un caso exitoso de la reducción de la brecha digital, trayendo beneficios económicos tangibles y actuando como agentes de movilización social a través de una mejor comunicación.
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This Forum examined the challenges that rural communities face in enhancing the benefits of mobile telephony, and looked at some examples of interesting initiatives and good outcomes from around the globe. November, 2008.

As an affordable and accessible means of communication, rural communities are realizing the potential of mobile telephony to create economic opportunities and strengthen social networks. Mobile telephony effectively reduces the "distance" between individuals and institutions, making the sharing of information and knowledge easier and more effective. The mobile telephone is no longer just an audio communication tool but capable of providing additional integrated functions. Yet, mobile telephony, like all technologies, does face limitations and challenges.
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This online discussion was moderated by Katalyst, a multi-donor funded market development project implemented by Swisscontact, the Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation and co-implemented by GTZ-International Services. 

Areas which were explored included: a) The scope of Public Private Partnerships to implement e-Agriculture successfully; b) Understanding the major and common constraints in PPP based on past experiences and current practices; c) Suggestions and solutions to overcome the challenges and focus on bringing practical solutions; and d) The roles of stakeholders: government, private sector, and others. 

 

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This forum was organized by the World fish center, in collaboration with the Fisheries and Aquaculture department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Discussion topics included: How are ICTs being used in Fisheries programmes? What are the constraints and opportunities of using ICT to support Fisheries and Fishing communities? How can the use of ICTs be extended in the fisheries sector?

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"If a tree grows in the laboratory, will the poor eat its fruit?" This forum was organized by the ICT-KM Programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

The objective of this Forum was to make it easier for CGIAR staff, partners and potential partners to access, use and add value to the research and to the scientific outputs of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). This was a discussion on "Global Public Goods (GPGs): From Data and Information to Food”. The ICT-KM programme promotes and supports the use of ICT and knowledge management (KM) to improve the effectiveness of the CGIAR System's work on behalf of the poor in developing countries.

 

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This forum built on the results of the 2006 e-Agriculture survey, and focused on respondents' experiences with innovative e-agriculture systems and ways to make e-agriculture systems and their content demand driven. The results of the Forum were presented at e-Agriculture week from  21-28 September 2007.

The discussions focused around the following questions: Improving Information Access for Farmers: How Can This be Achieved? What are the different important elements in enabling access at the front and back ends (i.e. getting the information into the system, and making sure farmers can access the system) How do these vary depending on the different kinds of information demanded? How do these vary depending on different demanders? How can the private sector get involved in e-agriculture? What are some examples of successful private initiatives or public-private partnerships in e-agriculture and what made them successful? - What are the key factors in successful information management policies and strategies for agriculture?

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