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Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture
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Innovations in ICT use in Agriculture

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By Dr Michael Hailu, Director, CTA

By Dr Michael Hailu, Director, CTA

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  • Marconi wasn ’t the first to invent the Radio His first innovation was to use it on ships where telegraph couldn ’t be used But the true innovation was using it to send the first SOS messages and save lives on sinking ships (one year after being introduced it saved lives on the Titanic) Steve Jobs wasn ’t the first to invent the personal computer He had taken a course on calligraphy at college and as a result learnt about different fonts, this lead to the innovation of font support on Apple computers and the first graphical interface.
  •   The newest report by eTransform Africa titled “The Transformational Use of ICTs in Africa” highlights the changes that have been taking place across the continent for the past decade with the use of ICTs (The World Bank, African Development Bank with support from African Union) (ICTs) have the potential to transform business and government in Africa, driving entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth. ICTs directly contribute around 7 per cent of Africa’s GDP, which is higher than the global average. In the year 2000, there were fewer than 20 million fixed-line phones across Africa By 2012, there were almost 650 million mobile subscriptions in Africa, more than in the US or the European Union, making Africa the second fastest growing region in the world. ICTs can ease cross­border communications, financial transactions, and sharing of data and information and have a catalytic impact upon regional integration and trade facilitation. It’s not about the phone or the computer; it’s about the applications and the information they deliver.
  • Across Africa, the availability and quality of service have gone up and the cost has gone down . In just 10 years, from late1990s mobile network coverage rose from 16 percent to 90 percent of the urban population; by 2009, rural coverage stood at just under 50 percent of the population. This is largely attributed to a rapid infrastructure expansion — including the addition of more than 68,000 kilometers of fiber-optic cables and 600,000 kilometers of national network lines Some Names Seacom Fiber - Cost (millions of USD) – 650 and the Length (km) of - 13,700   EASSy Fiber - Cost (millions of USD) – 265 and the Length (km) - 10,000   TEAMs fiber - Cost (millions of USD) – 300 and the Length (km) - 4,500   WACS fiber - Cost (millions of USD) – 600 and the Length (km) - 14,000   MainOne fiber - Cost (millions of USD) – 240 and the Length (km) – 7,000   GLO 1 fiber - Cost (millions of USD) – 800 and the Length (km) - 9,500   ACE fiber - Cost (millions of USD) – 700 and the Length (km) - 14,000 http://manypossibilities.net/african-undersea-cables/
  • 1) Productivity R&D – Some ICTs supporting Researchers & other intermediaries are SoilWeb, OakMapper, Rural Universe Network (RUNetwork), eRails, AGORA, TEEAL. Inputs – Some ICTs supporting input suppliers & users are E-Vouchers, Kilimo Salama, M-Pesa, Nutrient Manager, Mobile Authentication Service (MAS). Production – Some ICTs supporting farmers & other intermediaries are Crop Calendar, iCow, NEXT2us, Nano Ganesh. 2) Marketing ICTs are helping people producers finding out what customers want and supplying it to them Retail Component - farmers & traders such as Agriculture Price Alert, M-Farm, CellBazaar. Wholesale Component - traders & consumers such as Virtual City AgriManagr, Regional Agriculture Trade Intelligence Network (RATIN), Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange (KACE). Traceability – traders & consumers such as SourceTrace, Reliable Information Tracking System (RITS), ScoringAg, etc. 3) Monitoring and Evaluation ICTs are supporting access to timely and accurate data on farmers for policy, decision-making; reducing side-selling in value chains projects; food security decision making; and early warning forecasting, emergency communications by development organizations, national governments, funding agencies. Policy & Investment - Policy Makers, private sector, & donors such as iFormBuilder, Mobenzi, PoiMapper, EpiSurveyor, GIEWS, FEWSNet, etc.
  • iCOW: A mobile phone application tracks each cow to inform the farmer about periods in gestation, feeding, milking and disease control. A Kenyan farmer posted a message on the Farming Kenya Facebook website in April about disease-free seeds that were available from the Kenya Agri Research Institute during a period of severe damage to young maize crops in the country. Some days later, Kenyan farmers responded overwhelmingly. This was not generated by the Facebook message, however, but by an SMS sent by iCow to 9,000 farmers announcing the news and how to contact the research institute. iCow was developed by Green Dream TECH Ltd and is the world ’ s first cell phone cow calendar. It enables small-scale farmers, mostly dairy farmers, to access agricultural information and services over the cell phone. Small-scale farmers in Kenya who are registered with iCow receive livestock management and other agricultural information by using text messages on their mobile phones and on the web. The application, which started in 2011, informs 11,000 farmers and other members of the platform in Kenya about important days during the gestation period, and feeding and milking practices. It also helps farmers to find the nearest vets and AI (artificial insemination) providers and provides information on disease control. The iCow application is innovative because farmers can easily register themselves and their cows via SMS services. Kenyan dairy farmers are also given tailored, time-sensitive SMS updates on how to look after their cows during gestation, calving and throughout the rest of a cow ’ s life. All they have to do is send an SMS to 5024 – iCow ’ s four-digit code – which works on the network of providers Safaricom, Airtel and Orange. To register, the farmer sends a code message such as reg#farmername#county#. A cow can be registered by insemination date (serve#cowname#inseminationdate#) or by birth date (birth#cowname#date of birth#). Similar code messages enable farmers to find the nearest vets and AI providers. iCow ’ s services cost the farmer five Kenyan shillings (approximately US$0.06) per SMS. Milk yields Su Kahumbu, initiator and director of iCow, wants to bridge the information gap between younger and older farmers. But she is convinced that the way to do this is by working at the pace of the older ones to familiarize them with SMS applications. Hence, farmers may also contact iCow ’ s customer care centre in Nairobi to speak directly to someone for advice. The older farmers appreciate this combination of SMS and direct contact, because they do not trust an absolutely virtual service. Farmers are not the only members of iCow. Green Dream TECH ’ s mobile service is also useful for many organizations, government ministries and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector. iCow draws pertinent data from the field, data that the wider agricultural sector can use to create efficiencies across the agricultural value chain. In a way, iCow is using the platform to crowdsource and collect data that is important to improve value chain development. The platform allows farmers to alert the system immediately when there are disease outbreaks, allowing everyone to react to it quickly. The local authorities can then broadcast this news to all farmers on the platform in the affected region, telling them where and when to find vaccination services. Other stakeholders are using it to advertise agricultural field days or exhibitions in certain locations, or to offer financial services.
  • Simple MIS such as M-Farm from Kenya enabling farmers to inquire current market prices; aggregate farmers needs/orders and connect them to sell collectively . M-Farm is a free mobile application developed by MFarm Ltd, a software solution and agribusiness company based in Kenya. M-Farm was launched after winning the IPO48 competition — a 48-hour boot-camp event aimed at giving web/mobile start-ups a platform to launch their start-ups. M-Farm, is a transparency tool for Kenyan farmers where they simply SMS the number 20255 (Safaricom Users) to get information pertaining to the retail price of their products, buy their farm inputs directly from manufacturers at favorable prices, and find buyers for their produce. M-Farm provides 3 main services; M-Farm offers smallholder farmer with three services: 1) Price information - Enable farmers to inquire current market prices of different crops from different regions and/or specific markets; 2) Collective crop selling – Enable farmers to sell collectively and connect them with a ready market; 3) Collective input buying - Aggregate farmers needs/orders and connect them with farm input suppliers.   Problem being addressed The model is based on the fact that farmers are plagued with problems affecting their productivity and livelihood--middlemen only offering meager prices for their produce, cereal boards delaying with payments, and expensive farm inputs. M-Farm gives these farmers a voice by connecting them with each other in a virtual space. With M-Farm, they do not only get affordable farm inputs but also are able to sell collectively. In the absence of reliable and affordable access to Internet by farmers, M-Farm has adopted an SMS-based solution where they send a simple text to 20255 (Safaricom Users) depending on what farmers are looking for.    How it works:   Wholesale market price information is gathered on 42 crops in 5 major markets in Kenya: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Kitale. Pricing information is collected daily through independent data collectors using geocoding to ensure that the prices are being collected from wholesale traders actually located in each market. The M-Farm mobile application gives monthly analysis of the crop prices in different markets, showing the price trends. Therefore, the farmer is able to make informed economic decisions on what to plant when, how to price his produce and where to sell. The application delivers the latest prices for over the past 5 days of the week. With Samsung Android mobile device, search for 'mfarm' under that category; Download and get real time crop prices from M-Farm; Once you have your Android M-Farm App installed, click on the app icon; The app jumps straight to the categories menu; Select the category where your product of choice falls. This will lead to a listing of crops within that category. This view is scrollable if the list is long; Search from the top of the list for faster filtering of crops. Once you find the crop of choice, tap on it once again to get access to the prices over the past 5 days; A day-by-day comparison of prices of a set crop across the 5 towns can be accessed. There is town filter at the town to filter the listing by location basis.   For Potential Users: 1) To join or subscribe to M-Farm, potential users send SMS to 20255 (Safaricom Users) in the format "Join FirstName LastName Location" to enable them sell their products through M-Farm ’s marketplace ; 2) To get a real-time crop price, subscribers receive Crop Prices from M-Farm by sending and SMS to 20255 (Safaricom Users) in the format "Price cropname location”  ; 3) To sell their crops, subscribers send SMS to 20255 (Safaricom Users) in the format "Sell cropname weight price" Complex Platforms such as Esoko from Ghana and across Africa – with features like bulk SMS push, automated alerts, field polling, bids & offers, call centre; and providing services such as field training, enumeration, profiling, partner toolkits, etc. Esoko on the other hand is a mobile-enabled, cloud based service that can be used on any phone or computer without any special hardware or software and from anywhere with an SMS or data connection. It is a technology platform and consulting service that helps organizations profile people and manage the information flows between them. The focus is on agricultural value chains with the explicit goal of improving the transparency of markets and the operational efficiency of organizations. Esoko collects and provides content such as prices, bids and offers, weather, and agricultural tips to which users can subscribe. It also provides a powerful set of tools so that organizations can manage their own information and content: not only pushing out alerts and advisories to the field, but also tracking information from the field (like activities, compliance, profiles). Organizations can choose to keep their data private, share it, or use other content that is publicly available from any of the other Esoko countries CTA has a long history of working on MIS dated back to 1995 by developing a new model at the time for provision of market information. Recent activities include collaboration with MSU on innovations (technical and institutional) in MIS; impact assessment of methods for MIS; collaboration with UNECA to develop African Agricultural Market Information Systems Network (AAMIS-Net) in Africa to strengthen the capacity of regional and national MISs; and exploring ways to support the development of new business models through PPP to support the MIS.
  • Promoting interactivity Interactive radio and video help researchers to engage with farmers ICTs can help researchers to interact with farmers. The challenge lies in finding a way of integrating traditional and new communication technologies such as mobile phone, radio and video services to send agricultural and market information to farmers. It is important that agricultural researchers ’ work is disseminated to as many end users as possible. ICTs are an important tool for doing this. Nowadays, different ICTs are used to communicate agricultural market information to farmers. Radio broadcasting is the more traditional information channel for farmers in most developing countries. But the popularity of mobile phone services and applications have been rising in recent years. Evidence from research shows the positive impact of using digital video for sharing agricultural information, and there is potential in the coming years for live streaming services for online platforms. These technologies are mostly used separately, however, so an important question is how to combine mobile phone, radio, and video services in an integrated way to inform farmers about research-based production methods. Josh Woodard, project manager at the US-based non-profit organisation FHI 360, wrote a toolkit on interactive radio that is very closely tied to mobile services. ‘ Any approach to knowledge sharing needs to be multi-faceted, rather than singular in nature, ’ he says. ‘ Therefore I think that mobile phones, radio and video all can play a very complementary role and support the reinforcement of messaging towards farmers. ’ For decades now, radio has been a dominant source of information for farmers in much of sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated reach of between 80% and 90% of households. ‘ Yet for the most part, ’ Woodard says, ‘ traditional radio promotes a one-way flow of information from the broadcaster to the listener. This can be effective for the passive consumption of information, such as weather reports or price information, but is not necessarily the best medium to foster active learning, such as promoting changes in farming practices. ’ Mobile chat platforms By using new technologies that are closely related to mobile phone and internet it is possible to enhance the potential of radio as a powerful distribution channel beyond what had ever been possible. There are different ways radio stations can be interactive, like the facility of call-ins, call-outs, SMS, voice messages, interactive voice response, facilitated listening and web-based platforms. Mobile chat platforms such as Mxit, for example, present opportunities to facilitate listener-to-listener interaction. It allows one-to-one text messaging, along with group chats on web-enabled feature phones. ‘ It can be worthwhile to support audience interaction with each other during the broadcasts, ’ says Woodard.
  • The spirit of sharing is at the heart of the many new technology hubs that have opened in ACP countries in recent years. In Zambia, BongoHive encourages industry professionals to work with enthusiastic beginners to develop applications for the local mobile market. In December 2010, ICT Update reported on the official launch of two new regional technology hubs dedicated to training, supporting and inspiring new developers: iHub in Nairobi, covering East Africa, and mLab Southern Africa, based in Tshwane, South Africa. Since then, dozens of similar spaces providing guidance and facilities for enthusiastic innovators have flourished around the continent. There had been similar groups of like-minded people meeting in cities of many ACP countries before, in computer societies, or working on open-source projects or developing internet service provider (ISP) facilities. Several of these initiatives even attracted donor funding, but few of them lasted more than a couple of years, and many did not invest the time or money in developing new talent. Those involved in the new ‘ hubs ’ , as they are widely known, are eager to avoid those mistakes. There is a far greater emphasis on sharing skills, equipment, space and time, and not just among the individual groups but between the various hubs around the continent. The ability to exchange ideas with people in other countries has, of course, been accelerated by the expansion of broadband internet across Africa, and the increased availability of ICT equipment. But the technology is only one part of a complex equation. Hands-on While the hub does not focus exclusively on developing applications for education, Lindunda is convinced that it is an area worthy of new developers ’ attention. ‘ From my experience, students do not learn the necessary practical skills in universities. That ’ s the nature of most universities, but in Zambia it ’ s even worse because the university here does not have access to a stable internet connection or enough computers even for the people who are studying computer science. ’
  • CTA asked Juliana Rotich the CEO of Ushahidi the main crowdsourcing company in Africa to help advise what crowdsourcing could offer to Africa Caribbean and Pacific countries. Crowdsourcing is a new bottom-up approach to problem solving that is changing the face of the world. The crowd is no longer just bearing witness; the crowd is becoming an actor. Crowdsourcing gathers the public ’ s collective knowledge and uses it to advance a cause or business-related task. The web helped crowdsourcing go mainstream. But mobile phone technology is taking it a step further. Ushahidi is a good example. Ushahidi means ‘ to witness ’ in Swahili. This not-for-profit technology company started out as an ad hoc group of techies and bloggers trying to find out the best way to gather information about the post-election violence in Kenya in 2008. It uses the crowd, maps and cell phones to gather and visualise information in disaster and crisis zones. Mobile first strategy What can crowdsourcing mean for the people in the rural areas of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries? Crowdsourced information can help farmers, farmers ’ organisations, academics who need input for agricultural research, local authorities and rural companies. For real-time weather updates to market prices, or for sharing localised information, crowdsourcing is a cheap and efficient way to collect, share and use information. However, to make it work, farmers in rural areas need to be encouraged to provide information. And this information has to pass through a server with huge data processing capacity in order for farmers to receive useful information back. We are just beginning to scratch the surface; it is not yet possible to guarantee the crucially needed scale that would ensure successful crowdsourcing projects in rural areas in Africa. Indeed, few agricultural initiatives in Africa manage to reach millions of people. M-Farm, a market price service for farmers in Kenya, comes the closest. Although M-Farm does not yet crowdsource information about market prices, it has the potential to grow further and possibly introduce crowdsourcing models to gather market information successfully on a larger scale. Ushahidi is also struggling to reach the farmer population. It is therefore thinking about developing software to crowdsource real-time weather updates from farmer to farmer. This could be an interesting tool for dealing with problems caused by climate change. However, for this to succeed the organisation needs to think big, and that means a massive marketing budget to convince enough farmers to participate. Ushahidi has not reached that point yet and it is currently seeking partners interested in their idea. Not all crowdsourcing experiments are succesful first time A crowdsourcing experiment was carried out in Mauritius to find out where the island ’ s breadfruit trees are located. However, the contributors ’ lack of ICT skills made for disappointing results. Breadfruit is a traditional crop in Mauritius that has been produced mainly in backyards. The authorities, however, identified breadfruit as an alternative source of carbohydrates for imported rice and wheat, which are the main staple foods in Mauritius. This resulted in a campaign to increase local breadfruit production for food security and export purposes. Since there are no commercial breadfruit farms in Mauritius and there are no orchards as such in the country, there are no official figures available about annual production. It is estimated to be more than 600 tonnes a year. The geographical location of breadfruit trees on the island is also unknown. For that reason, a crowdsourcing experiment using Google Maps was launched in Mauritius in February 2012 by the Mauritius Breadfruit Sector Consortium. First, the consortium needed a platform for communication and information sharing among its stakeholders. They opted for a Wiki with a Google Map. Google Map enables users to add breadfruit trees in Mauritius onto the map. The main problems were trees being placed in wrong locations on the map (in the sea or in the middle of a street), so the administrator has to check new entries regularly and remove wrongly placed trees. Moreover, when the crowdsourcing activity started, breadfruit was in season, so trees were easily spotted because they had large leaves and spherical or oblong fruits. As the fruiting season came to an end, contributions to the Google Map slowed down too. The result is that there are presently over 60 trees on the map with descriptions. A disappointing result so far if one considers that there are an estimated 3,000 or more breadfruit trees on Mauritius. Youth responded because it was promoted on social media but the farming community was largely unaware of the project due to a lack of promotion by traditional means, such as radio and national television. Several months after the implementation of the Google Map, however, consortium stakeholders are already using the map to locate trees for different purposes. For example, by using this map, samples were taken at different locations for research purposes, propagation and sales. The project managers have learned from the difficulties and are continuing with the activity to get the maximum number of trees on the map over time. Crowd funding In the rural development context, crowdfunding opens up space for small social investors to link up in a more direct way with people at the bottom of the rural pyramid who want to finance their ventures in a business-like way. In particular, it enables non-patronising relationships – a characteristic of donor support – to emerge whereby social investors can, if they wish, get their money back with a profit. A vivid example of this kind of crowdfunding is Kiva, and contrary to what one might expect, this example shows that poor people pay back loans while governments rarely do so on time. How about small rural ICT projects? Can they succeed with crowdfunding? Not all projects lend themselves to crowdfunding. The most suitable ones are those that are packaged as enterprises and can therefore be easily marketed for crowdfunding. Many small ICT projects can be designed as enterprises but they have to be embedded in robust business models that provide other services, not just ICT. ICT projects appeal to young people, and this is where the new energy for development has got to come from.
  • Two projects, one in Kenya and one in Burkina Faso, show that female farmers have better access to ICTs and are using them to improve their livelihoods. However, there is still a gender digital divide, and some profound problems are preventing women from benefiting from ICTs. Margaret Wanjiku Mwangi has been a regular user of the Ng ’ arua Maarifa ICT Centre in the rural county of Laikipia in Kenya since it was inaugurated seven years ago. A farmer, she has acquired computer skills free of charge and regularly borrows books and magazines to discover new ideas to improve yield productivity. For example, she learnt how to preserve various vegetable seeds for planting to enhance food security. It was also at this rural ICT Centre, an initiative of the Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), that she came up with the idea of making a kitchen garden to grow vegetables in the dry season, and to make fruit juices at home to sell at special occasions and social gatherings. Mwangi has also attended market access trainings at the ICT Centre, where she has learnt to use her mobile phone and the internet to check market prices. ‘ Whenever my crops are ready, ’ she says, ‘ I use my mobile phone to check market prices in major towns so that I can learn about the current market situation. I share the information with neighbours, and we are no longer exploited by middle men. ’ CTA has held a number of focus groups to investigate the views of women readers of ICTupdate our magazine on ICT use in Agriculture in ACP countries. A number of constraints to ICT use arise – access to devices, attitudes towards women using technology and the time available to investigate opportunities. We worked with Wougnet in Uganda to produce a special issue on ICTs and women ’s empowerment to feature more stories on women’s use of ICTs and have actively sought out more women as guest editors as suggested by our female readers.
  • Capacity building in (i) PGIS, (ii) Participatory video, (iii) Web 2.0 and Social media. Participatory Mapping / Participatory GIS: Leverages traditional knowledge in climate change adaptation, advocacy and policy making processes in the Pacific and Caribbean.
  • DRR: Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Performance indicators as of 30 April 2013
  • ARDYIS ‘ s advisory committee include FARA; ANAFE, etc. So FARA has also been contributing to the design of activities implemented.
  • SOFIA project purpose The project aims at strengthening rural youth employment opportunities in agriculture and ICTs in Southern Africa. It will support in particular Youth training centres and young farmer groups, to make more effective use of ICTs to enhance employment and business opportunities. Key Project Activities: Regional planning and evaluations workshops Country Stakeholders Consultation Case studies on Youth ICT and agriculture initiatives in Southern Africa Organization of e-discussions on the findings of the studies and on policy actions needed ICT & business training sessions Monitoring and promotion of ICT use by youth farmer groups Youth online interactions Implementing Agencies: Ndola Youth Resource Centre - Zambia. NYRC is the Regional Coordinator of the project. LULOTE - BEMP (Swaziland) Farmers Forum for Trade and Social Justice – FAFOTRAJ (Malawi)
  • The Challenge: A major challenge to the use of ICTs for Agriculture is how accessible and affordable are these technologies – mobile phone and Internet - to the world ’s two-third inhabitants. New Developments: 1) Low-Cost, Solar-Powered Broadband Access Using Cutting-Edge TVWS Technology ‘ Mawingu’ is the first deployment of solar-powered base stations working together with TV White Spaces (TVWS), a technology partially developed by Microsoft Research, to deliver high-speed Internet access to areas currently lacking even basic electricity. TVWS , is the unused portions of wireless spectrum in the frequency bands generally used for television. They are well-suited for delivering low-cost broadband access to rural and other unserved communities. Radio signals in the TV bands travel over longer distances and penetrate more obstacles than other types of radio signals and, therefore, require fewer base stations to provide ubiquitous coverage. Microsoft intends to use this pilot and other similar initiatives to encourage African governments to make the needed legal and regulatory changes that would allow this type of technology to be deployed continent-wide. The project is the first deployment of TV white space technology in Africa targeted at communities without access to broadband or electricity and is a result of a memorandum of understanding that presents a framework of cooperation between Microsoft, the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications and industry partner Indigo Telecom. To date, work in this space in Africa has exclusively focused on demonstrating the technical feasibility of using TV white space technology. This project takes an important next step forward by instead focusing on assessing the commercial feasibility of delivering low-cost access using TV white space technology. 2) Google Loon Project With balloons flying high overhead, people can conceivably connect to the web without having to build a complex physical infrastructure on the ground. Google has built a system that uses balloons, carried by the wind at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, to beam Internet access to the ground at speeds similar to today's 3G networks or faster. Ground stations connected to local internet which beam signals to the balloons, are being built. The balloons communicate with each other, forming a "mesh" in the sky. Solar panels beneath the balloons power radios, antennas, altitude controllers, and a flight computer. The goal of the project is to put a custom designed antenna in the home while a separate antenna communicates with the first antenna as it floats over 60,000 feet above sea-level by a solar powered balloon. A small New Zealand farming town is being used as an experimental site for the Project Loon, a dream expected to hopefully bring internet access to more than 5 billion people who do not have internet access today.
  • CTA will organize a hackathon during the ICT for AG conference. A hackathon is an event during which computer programmers and development stakeholders collaborate intensively to develop an ICT application to address a specific challenge. The objectives of the hackathon planned are to:   - promote the development of ICT applications supporting strategic information access and dissemination in agriculture; showcase the potentials of ICT applications in agriculture at the ICT4Ag conference; - support the development of ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture.   Key East African agricultural stakeholders, as well as international institutions supporting the agricultural development, or business development or ICT service provisions will also be engaged from the onset. This activity will also contribute to promoting open data for agriculture; supporting ICT innovation centres and youth entrepreneurship in agriculture.   CT4Ag hackathon does not aim to be a one-shot event that will end with the closing ceremony and site visits of the ICT4Ag Conference. It is conceived as an event with follow-up, which will be facilitated by notably by CTA. The involvement of other national and international institutions in post-hackathon activities is being explored.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Innovations in ICT Use in Agriculture
    • 2. Innovation not Invention ©MHS Oxford maczydeco Paul Townsend @Flickr
    • 3. 7% ICT’s Contribution to Africa’s GDP USD 56B from the Private Sector in Telecom USD 150B Projected ICT Market by 2016
    • 4. ICT Infrastructure Growth in Africa 2012 2014 Projection Over 615,000 km of National Backbone Networks x20 Growth of Internet bandwidth (2008–2012)
    • 5. ICTs in Agriculture
    • 6. Enhancing Productivity
    • 7. Market Information Services Simple MIS Complex Platform
    • 8. Communications and Extension
    • 9. Supporting Innovation – iHubs in Africa
    • 10. Crowdsourcing for Agriculture
    • 11. Women's Use of ICTs in Agriculture
    • 12. • Participatory GIS (PGIS) • Participatory Video (PV) • Capacity building • Online advocacy ICTs Empowering Communities Photo credits: Leon J.; Gawlik K, Rambaldi. G
    • 13. Participatory GIS • Documenting, geo- referencing and adding value and authority to local knowledge • Giving a voice to local communities (advocacy) • Facilitating community- based planning (value chains; disaster risk reduction)
    • 14. ... and CTA impact in ACP regions Centres of excellence established in East Africa, Caribbean and Pacific
    • 15. Enhancing institutional capacity in the use of Social Media and Web 2.0 To empower agricultural stakeholders to better communicate, cooperate and participate in policy processes and along value chains.
    • 16. Key result Some best entrants are becoming strong advocates and ambassadors of youth in agriculture In order to •Put into limelight youth in agriculture issues and successes • Encourage the use of ICT by young farmers’ groups CTA has launched the
    • 17. Activities include • promotion of youth-led ICT innovations in agriculture • ICT training for rural youth centres and young farmers • Business training sessions Strengthening youth employment opportunities in Southern Africa in ICT and agriculture (SOFIA) •Launched in Swaziland by the Prime Minister of Swaziland – April 2013 CTA is supporting the project
    • 18. ICT4Ag: Major Constraints & Prospects Mawingu - Low-Cost, Solar-Powered Broadband Access Using Cutting-Edge TV White Space Technology Google Loon Project – balloons connecting
    • 19. ICTs for Agriculture Conference Conference Streams 1.Emerging innovations in ICT 2.Capacity strengthening 3.Enabling environments
    • 20. • 4 – 7 Nov 13 in Rwanda, parallel conf. activity • Aim: • showcasing and promoting ICT innovations enhancing agriculture during the conference • supporting ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture (follow-up activities) •Contribute to rebranding agriculture’s image for youth • Collaboration with African ICT innovation spaces
    • 21. In conclusion… • The potential for ICTs in Agriculture is high …..But it will take • Public-Private-Partnership – Enabling environments – Investment in rural ICT infrastructure • Capacity Strengthening and Empowerment – Recognize the potentials of the youth e.g. iHubs – Support innovative application development • Support for Scaling Up of Innovations
    • 22. More Information: www.ictupdate.cta.int

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