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January 2013 | The Year in Review: 2012

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The e-Agriculture Newsletter is part of a global initiative to enhance sustainable agricultural development and food security by improving the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). e-Agriculture is a Community of more than 9,500 members from over 160 countries and territories.




About 1600 new members joined the e-Agriculture Community during 2012, to reach a total of 9,500 members from over 160 countries. The geographical distribution of the e-Agriculture members is shown in the graph on the right.

In addition to membership growth, activity and engagement on the e-Agriculture platform increased by 40%! We look forward to support the growth of this community globally throughout 2013.

Here are a couple of ways in which you can get in touch with members of e-Agriculture:


In 2012, the e-Agriculture Community celebrated its 5 year anniversary. Highlights include: 5 years of engaging online discussions, profiles of former of e-Agriculture Team members, and a rich collection of content that has been shared through the e-Agriculture platform. The Knowledge Base now has 570 resources; there are over 1700 news items and almost 500 events that have been announced.


In May 2012, the e-Agriculture Community received a prestigious award from the organizing body of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the WSIS Project Prize 2012. Every member of the Community can be proud of this achievement!


Recognizing some of the most active members of our Community, this year a new section on Featured Members highlighted select individuals throughout the year.

Find out who they are, about their work on the field of ICTs for agriculture and rural development, and why we are proud to draw attention to their engagement in our Community. Featured Members:

  • Sapna A. Narula, from India
  • Jo Cadilhon, from France
  • Jorge Luis Alonso Gonzalez, from Argentina
  • Mireia Fernandez-Ardevol, from Spain 
  • Harsha Liyanage, from United Kingdom
  • Oumy Ndiaye, from Senegal
  • Ricardo Sánchez Villagrán, from Argentina
  • Mohammad Shahroz Jalil, from Bangladesh
  • Francine Brossard, from Chile
  • Antoine Kantiza, from Burundi
  • Emmanuel Picado, from Costa Rica
  • Maureen Agena, from Uganda


There are many people who contribute to the success of the e-Agriculture Community. In addition to the support team based in Rome, the Community benefit from the dedication of our interns who joined the team in Rome, and our volunteers who worked remotely from their countries. For 2012, special thanks goes to:


Mobile phones are the success story of bridging the rural digital divide, bringing tangible economic benefits and acting as agents of social mobilization through improved communication. 

Learning about the Community, its purpose and how it functions. Our Mission is to serve as a catalyst for institutions and individuals in agriculture and rural development to share knowledge, learn from others, and improve decision making about the vital role of ICTs to empower rural communities.

ICTs play an important role in agricultural value chains, with different types of ICT having different strengths and weaknesses when applied to particular interventions.

The ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook addresses mainstreaming information and communication technology (ICT) into 14 sub-sectors of agriculture (including rural finance, markets, value chains, extension, etc). The Sourcebook is freely available on www.ictinagriculture.org

This area offers you the opportunity to learn about and connect with others. Below you may browse members' profiles or find members by countries. Getting to know the community members and networking

This list of apps for Android, iPhone and iPad published in April by an e-Agriculture member received a lot of visits! Similar posts can be found at the bottom of that page.

This Programme sought to bring relevant expertise and resources across the international development community into a more coherent and systematic approach. 

The Forum: "ICT and producer organizations" which took place in 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.  

This forum looked at mobile phones as a marketing tool; evidence that ICT is changing logistics and transaction costs; the use of ICTs for market research; and the use of ICT to make input supply and use more effective. 

Back in May, 2012, e-Agriculture received a prestigious award from the organizing body of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), called the WSIS Project Prize 2012.


The 27 Subject Matter Experts who collaborated with their valuable time and expertise during the year, and who made the success of these online discussions possible are:


In 2012 our forums formed part of a collaboration between the World Bank, FAO and the e-Agriculture Community. Each building on a theme found in the World Bank's ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook, the forums sought to expand our collective knowledge on the following topics:
 ICT and Agriculture in the Context of 'Green Growth'
From 5 to 16  March, 2012 the forum "ICT and agriculture in the context of 'green growth'"    
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. 

The output of this forum was presented in a side event at Rio+20.
 ICT for Data Collection, Monitoring and Evaluation
From 11-22 June 2012, the forum: "ICT for Data Collection, Monitoring and Evaluation" explored how some of the following tools can be used, and the challenges associated with using them; those technologies include: mobile phones, GIS, repositories, and a variety of software applications, which are making data collection and M&E activities easier and less expensive to implement. 
 Using ICT to Enable Agricultural Innovation Systems for Smallholders
From 17-28 September 2012, the forum: "Using ICT to enable Agricultural Innovation Systems for smallholders” explored how ICT can improve the concepts and operations discussed in the Agricultural Innovation Systems Sourcebook. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can expand communication, cooperation, and ultimately innovation among the wide array of actors in agriculture. 

The output of this forum was discussed at GCARD2.
 ICT and Producer Organizations
From 12-23 November 2012, the forum  "ICT and producer organizations" focused on the important role that producer organizations play 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. 



You can stay in touch with e-Agriculture members throughout the world by joining us on Facebook and Twitter. Also, don't forget to browse through some of our latest content on Delicious and watch some of our recent video interviews with featured e-Agriculture members on the e-Agriculture YouTube channel.

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