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 over 160 countries and territories.
IN THIS ISSUE:
- Upcoming Forum: Mobile Information and Advisory Services
- Forum results: Capturing Impact in ICT initiatives
- ICT in agriculture sourcebook
- UNCTAD Report: Enabling Private Sector Development
- e-Agriculture welcomes new team members
- e-Agriculture represented at Second Global Agri-Knowledge Share Fair
MOBILE INFORMATION SERVICES: The Benefits of Forming Strong Partnerships to Create Sustainable and Scalable Information Advisory Services. 21 November - 2 December 2011
The mFarmer Initiative, a partnership between GSMA, USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) was set up to support mobile operators and agricultural partners in launching mobile information services that benefit farmers and are commercially viable. It is one of several GSMA programmes that identify opportunities in emerging markets for social, economic and environmental impact through mobile services.
This upcoming forum will provide a platform to initiate discussion around the types of partnerships that are conducive to creating sustainable and scalable mobile information and advisory services for farmers. The forum will focus on the different roles of each partner, namely mobile network operators and agricultural organisations, and the assets that each bring to the partnership.
Subject matter experts confirmed for the forum include: S. Srinivasan, CEO of IKSL; Sharbendu Banerjee, Director of Business Development for CABI South Asia-India; Collins Nweke, Project Manager at Tigo Tanzania; Fiona Smith, Director of GSMA mAgri Programme; and, Judy Payne, ICT advisor USAID. See www.e-agriculture.org/forums for more details.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAPTURING IMPACT IN ICT INITIATIVES IN AGRICULTURE
Katalyst and e-Agriculture concluded an online forum in October to discuss the challenges of linking impact with the use of ICTs in agriculture. It was clear to all that communicating credible results in ICT4D projects is as important as achieving them!
The forum participants concluded that ICT will only become an effective and mainstream tool for poverty reduction and sustainable development if the proponents of ICT for development can provide more rigorous evidence, strategies, benchmarks, indicators, and promising practices that are directly relevant to the core poverty-reduction and development priorities of developing countries and their international partners. In order to achieve this, a few methodological and operational aspects will need to be considered. Read more about this in the forum and its summary Policy Brief.
ICT in AGRICULTURE SOURCEBOOK
WORLD BANK AND E-AGRICULTURE TEAM UP FOR SOURCEBOOK ONLINE FORUMS
The recently launched The ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook is operational in nature, with practical examples and case studies from around the world. Its aim is to support development practitioners in exploring the use of or designing, implementing, and investing in information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled agriculture interventions. It provides both technical and policy guidance to a diverse group of development practitioners and decision makers in:
- Understanding current trends in information and communication technologies (ICTs) as they pertain to agriculture as well as the contributions that ICTs can make to enhance agricultural strategies and interventions;
- Designing and implementing appropriate and sustainable ICT components for agriculture projects;
- Building effective partnerships— public and private—to promote ICT access and innovation for agriculture;
- Evaluating the impact of these interventions;
- Including ICT in policy dialogue and planning with country counterparts on agricultural and rural development goals and priorities.
The book is a compilation of modules related to 14 agricultural subsectors. Each module covers the challenges, lessons learned, and enabling factors associated with using ICT to improve smallholder livelihoods. e-Agriculture will be hosting a number of forums around each module, the first of which will be held in December. See ICTinagriculture.org to access to the sourcebook and www.e-agriculture.org for upcoming information about the discussion forums.
ICTs ENABLING PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT IS FOCUS OF 2011 INFORMATION ECONOMY REPORT FROM UNCTAD
A recent United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report shows that the potential of leveraging information and communication technologies (ICTs) to develop the private sector is far from fully exploited. It finds that many national and donor strategies related to private sector development fail to take adequate account of the ICT potential, which has greatly expanded thanks to changes in the global ICT landscape. The report makes policy recommendations on how to remedy this situation.
E-AGRICULTURE WELCOMES NEW TEAM MEMBERS
The e-Agriculture Community currently has over 7,500 members and continues to grow! The e-Agriculture Team would like to welcome two new members, who have joined as interns to help support the activities that make e-Agriculture such a vital network to practitioners around the world. Learn more about Ms. Erin Yingling and Mr. Brieuc de Roquefeuil.
E-AGRICULTURE COMMUNITY REPRESENTED AT SECOND GLOBAL AGRI-KNOWLEDGE SHARE FAIR
The e-Agriculture Community members were present in many Share Fair sessions, at this year’s event held at IFAD Headquarters 26 – 29 September 2011. A few of these are highlighted in blogs:
- The Role of Social Media in Development
- Ethiopian livestock market information system: Using ICT to deliver information to rural communities.
- ICTs for the exchange of information among female producers - The story from Cameroon
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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