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The role of ICTs in sustaining capacity development of African youths in agriculture

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There is a growing momentum to encourage the participation of youths in agriculture in Africa. Migration – both rural to urban and intercontinental - seemed to have sparked this debate. In any case, agriculture is poised to be a major path to eradicate hunger and poverty in Africa.

The theme of youth, ICTs and agriculture arose during the online discussion forum held by FAO and partners (on FSN Forum Africa) from 25 October to 17 November 2017. The debate was aimed at soliciting opinions on capacity development sustainability for young agripreneurs in Africa and to contribute to identifying challenges and opportunities related to sustaining the impact of all interventions.

Comments on the role of ICTs

The discussants noted that ICTs were needed by farmers and especially for young farmers and agripreneurs. The following roles and usages were identified:-

  • Support networking. Online platforms such as mailing lists, social media – including WhatsApp groups and mobile apps are good tools for knowledge sharing on modern agricultural technologies, experiences and good practices. In the debate the examples of CTA’s Web2forDev was cited.
  • Platforms for learning. For example Online Massive Online Courses (MOOCs).
  • Access to information. In this genre, participants noted the ICT-based information and e-advisory services such as SMS-based alert systems, and mobile apps are useful in facilitating access to weather information, market information, financial services, e-extension services, for example
  • Access to innovations. Modern technologies provide both easy access to information and also provide new tools for various agricultural activities.

Read the full report on this discussion forum.

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