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May 2011 | e-Agricult​ure Newsletter

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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 7,000 members from 150 countries and territories




  • Upcoming online forum in French "Gender, information technology and communication, and livelihoods in rural areas", Participate in this online forum held in French9-31 May 2011
  • The Promise of Mobile Technology: e-Agriculture and the WSIS 2011 Forum
  • CIARD Framework for Data and Information Sharing e-Consultation


Online "Gender, information and communication technology, and livelihoods in rural areas", Participate in this online forum held in French!

Universal access to Information Communication and Technology (ICT) is fast becoming a human right, and the United Nations encourages universal access to the Internet. It is widely believed that the Internet and other ICTs can bring about positive change, and in rural areas, these changes affect the livelihoods of communities and women in particular.

To help reduce potential inequalities and challenges, and to give all stakeholders in rural development an equal opportunity to use the enormous potential of ICT to improve their livelihoods, it is necessary to clearly identify and analyze the most common barriers and suggest avenues for effective and lasting solutions.

A group of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) will support the forum, interact with you and help guide the discussion. They are:

  • Mme Francine Brossard Leiva, Chef de l’Unité d’information et de la communication audiovisuelle, Fondation pour l’innovation agraire (FIA), Ministère de l’Agriculture, Chili.
  • M. Yannick de Mol pour le projet Dimitra.
  • Mme Maartje Houbrechts pour le projet Dimitra.
  • M. Ken Lohento, Coordinateur de Programme TIC pour le Développement au CTA
  • Mme Oumy Khaïry Ndiaye, Chef du Département Services de Communication au CTA.
  • Mme Sylvie Niombo, Directrice exécutive d’Azur Développement, Congo, et membre de l’Association pour le Progrès Communications, APC.
  • Mme Ramata Molo Thioune, Administratrice Principale de Programmes,  Politique économique et sociale et TIC-D,  Centre de recherche pour le développement international, CRDI Bureau régional de l'Afrique Centrale et Occidentale.
  • Mme Sophie Treinen, Coordinatrice du Programme Gestion des Connaissances et Genre à la FAO.

Contributions to this forum will be structured around the following questions:

  1. What is the importance of gender issues in projects and programs that use ICT in agriculture and rural development?
  2. Identification and discussion of successes and failures through the use of ICT by rural women - What are the factors that impede the effective use of ICT by rural women?
  3. What practical solutions can be proposed? What further actions are needed for successful implementation?

We will treat each of these issues for a week. At the end of each week a summary will be made. The last two day forum will be used to draw conclusions. A comprehensive executive summary will be prepared after this forum.

Forum facilitation will be provided by Laurence Lalanne-Devlin, consultant. The forum is organized by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). For more information and to participate in the forum, go to http://www.e-agriculture.org/fr


The role of mobile technology in development is now undeniable. Supporting sound economic growth, while reducing socio-economic disparity is essential. This month begins with a series of special blogs on the subject of mobile telephony in development from Manish Pandey, Regional Director, Swisscontact, followed by Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol, Co-director, “Mobile Communication, Economy & Society”, Open University of Catalonia.

Then on 18 May, in Geneva, Switzerland , UNCTAD, ITC and FAO have brought together two unique sessions that will allow you to interact with leading thinkers and practitioners, building on our latest experiences and looking forward.

The first session, “Mobile Money Solutions for Small Enterprises” will focus on how mobile money can offer solutions for small enterprises. It will discuss some of the trends on mobile financial services for small enterprises and the positive and negative impacts that the development of mobile money solutions can bring to small enterprises. It will consider emerging business models and address key regulatory issues governments face to create an enable regulatory environment.

The second session, “What is the Socio-Economic Impact on Rural Communities?” will consider the potential benefits of using mobile technology in rural areas. It will discuss some of the trends, from both public and private sector perspectives, of mobile technology in development and the positive and negative impacts that are currently observed. It will highlight the challenges faced and the role of different organizations in supporting positive sustainable development in rural areas with mobile technology and mobile-based services, and it will look to action we should take going forward.

Distinguished panelists include individuals from the private sector, NGOs, development organizations, and global research institutions. Details and panelists information are available on the WSIS Forum Agenda at http://groups.itu.int/wsis-forum2011/Agenda.aspx

For more information on the sessions, please contact Marta Pérez Cusó (marta.perez.cuso@unctad.org) or Michael Riggs (michael.riggs@fao.org). For more information about, or to register for the WSIS Forum, see http://groups.itu.int/wsis-forum2011/Home.aspx


This recently concluded e-Agriculture forum was one of the most popular yet! Our thanks to everyone who participated and made this a success. All the discussion and ideas presented can be found in the forum archive http://bit.ly/lUpKe7

The final report of the e-consultation is being prepared, and will be published on e-Agriculture in late May. The report will serve as a background document for an expert consultation that will take place this June in Beijing, China. For more information about the Beijing consultation, see http://www.ciard.net/ 



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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