This forum will discuss the present practices and critical issues (regarding both implementation and monitoring) of ICT initiatives in agriculture.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an emerging area focusing on the enhancement of the agricultural and rural development. Many farmers and rural entrepreneurs generally lack access to accurate and timely information on markets, production processes, crops and livestock disease; as well as access to services such as land registrations, permits, government regulation forms, and internet.
In the past few years, ICT initiatives in agriculture have proliferated and the resources devoted to ICT in development portfolios have expanded in the hope that ICT can help developing countries reach the Millennium Development Goals. Yet, rigorous field-tested knowledge about "what works and why" have been relatively scarce, as well as a deeper understanding of the enabling conditions and success factors in ICT for development initiatives.
As a result, there is a growing consensus in the development community that ICT will only become an effective and mainstream tool of poverty reduction and sustainable development if the proponents of ICT for development can provide more rigorous evidence, strategies, benchmarks, indicators, and good practices that are directly relevant to the core poverty-reduction and development priorities of developing countries and their international partners.
Subject Matter Experts leading the discussions include:
Shahid Uddin Akbar, Chief Executive Officer - BIID (Bangladesh Institute for ICT for Development)
Jenny C. Aker, Assistant Professor of Economics - Economics Department and Fletcher School, Tufts University
Jim Tanburn, Coordinator - DCED (Donor Committee for Enterprise Development)
John Zoltner, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean - Datadyne
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