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Use of technology by farmers in West Africa: E-TIC.net a case study

Michael Riggs's picture

The E-TIC project aims at providing training tools and elements so that small farmers, herders and fishermen may sell their products better. Through the setting up of the Internet portal www.e-tic.net and a series of training sessions destined for local intermediaries (young people, women, community radio journalists), the E-TIC project aims at sharing knowledge relevant for effective farm management.

It has been implemented in Senegal and in Mali (Sahel region), with the support of the Fonds Francophone des Inforoutes and a series of other partners. The setting up of a network in the agricultural domain is also an underlying objective of the project. The intermediaries in the field play the multidisciplinary role of connectors that provide a link between small farmers and new technologies.

An extensive enquiry and case study provide information about the effective use of technologies in rural areas of West Africa (Mali and Senegal). By far, community radio and mobile phone technologies are the two means that are most effective to get messages to local populations. Given that an important percentage of the population is illiterate and/or speaks a language other than French, which is taught at school, pictograms and other visuals provide the right alternative to communication.

Although the project is still underway, some observations can already be outlined concerning the use of new technologies in the domains of agriculture, stockbreeding, and fishing in Senegal and in Mali.

Read this case and more in WSIS Stocktaking Success Stories (PDF).