Background: The value of getting timely quality information to smallholder farmers should not be underestimated. The agricultural research and development community is trying to increase the farmers’ knowledge base through an integrated approach including information and communication technologies (ICT), as noted by several researchers. With the challenges of poverty, food insecurity, decreasing agricultural productivity and climate change, creative approaches are needed to enhance access to information and make it useful to smallholder farmers. Such approaches should unlock farmers’ capabilities to manage soils, water, biological resources, pests, disease vectors and genetic diversity innovatively and to conserve natural resources in a culturally appropriate manner.
About the author: Anne Bruntse grew-up on a Danish mixed farm and experimented with organic farming in her home vegetable garden. She graduated from the Royal Agriculture and Veterinary College in 1978 with a master’s degree equivalent, and then worked in the Danish Extension system. FAO work followed, in Swaziland and Kenya on seed multiplication and fodder. She then farmed privately (and managed a business) in Kenya for 21 years, inter-spersed with consultancies on camel value chains. She joined Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development in 2006 and worked with the Biovision team and short-term consultants to build-up the farmer data base www.infonet-biovision.org. She was later in charge of the Infonet Outreach pilot project, seeking to find effective methods for the information to reach farmers.