E-Agriculture: From Cutlass to Cutting Edge Practical Solutions for the Knowledge Age Telojo V. Onu Caribbean Farmers Network (CAFAN) Only Connect? Emerging ICT Options and Opportunities for Farmers 26 August 2008 ASTUGI - JAPAN
A black smith from Vermont named John Deere. Deere moved to Grand Detour, Illinois in 1836. He invented a blade which was self polishing and combined the share and moldboard into a one piece steel plough. Deere moved his factory to Moline Illinois and began manufacturing in 1847. The blade was an amazing hit and began the John Deere company.
Then the First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States was built across North America in the 1860s, linking the railway network of the Eastern United States with California on the Pacific coast. Ceremonially completed on May 10 , 1869 , at the famous " golden spike " event at Promontory Summit, Utah , it created a nation-wide mechanized transportation network that revolutionized the population and economy of the American West .
This network caused the wagon trains of previous decades to become obsolete, exchanging it for a modern transportation system.
TRANS-CONTINENTAL RAILROAD LINKING FARMS TO MARKETS
Needs Driven(Customer Centric) - Bottom up Approach
Stakeholder Consultation & Participation and Buy In - Information and Knowledge (Assets) , Property – Ownership
Power and Control is in the hands of the society and shared with the institution
Community and Society Oriented (Multi-stakeholders)
Strategies should be Socially Driven not Technologically Determined
“ If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for life . ” An ancient Chinese proverb Can ICTs help? ..or something in between?
Objective: To facilitate a community knowledge network of practice for Small Farm Holders and Farmer associations and stakeholders across 16 Caribbean Islands by providing cheap network communications using innovative digital technologies (VOIP) to facilitate timely agriculture related information (market prices, information about fertilizers, crop varieties etc.) Approach: Partner with Mobile Telecom & VOIP Providers to create a closed user group service at a low cost to members of the network. Regional - CaFAN - VOIP ( ATA Adapters) – Peer Network & Gateway - Pilot Internet Access - Low cost Edge Service –( Data Cards) Modem and Router - $20US mth Local Level - CUG with Local Mobile Network - (Digicel or C&W) - $5US a month ( Free SMS) VOIP Gateway - At each Network Contact Point (using SMS or code) Agritalk CaFAN Initiative 1
Beneficiaries: Nearly 1 million farmers Benefits to community: Better prices, reliable information, Ease in selling their products etc… Driving Agency: CaFAN, Farmer Associations
Objective: To empower farmer communities by providing them reliable and timely agriculture related information (market prices, information about fertilisers, crop varieties etc.) Approach: A computer kiosk managed by a farmer at each village; One kiosk for 600 farmers who can use the system for the latest price and technical information Beneficiaries: Nearly 1 million farmers in 10,000+ villages Benefits to community: Better prices, reliable information, Ease in selling their products Driving Agency: ITC – a private firm e-Choupal India 2
Beneficiaries: Communities in 50% of the villages in Bangladesh. 140,000 Grameen village phones are already there. Benefits to community: Means of income for phone owners, Communication facilities at the doorstep and at affordable rates Driving Agency: Grameen Group (a Non Profit Org.) Grameen Phone Bangladesh 3 Objective: To reduce poverty by the economic empowerment of women in rural Bangladesh Approach: Run a GSM network; lend money to rural women so that they can purchase mobile phones; Phone owners rent the phones to the rest in the community for taking and receiving phone calls
Objective: To provide an effective micro finance services to the community by the effective use of ICT for maintaining records, collecting and monitoring Approach: Provide loans in the range of US$ 50 - 150 to the poor through its micro finance network Beneficiaries: 100,000 villagers in five East African countries Benefits to community: Fulfillment of financial needs at the village level and at the correct time, better rates Driving Agency: Pride Africa – a Non Profit Org. Pride Africa East Africa 4
Objective: To build an e-marketplace for agricultural, chemical and construction products, enables farmers, cooperatives, and small entrepreneurs to do online trading via their cell phones or a website Approach: Build and maintain the on-line databases, provide access, build Internet kiosks at village levels Beneficiaries: Thousands of small scale farmers, traders and industrialists Benefits to community: Better prices, a means for better income Driving Agency: B2Bpricenow.com (with the help of govt. agencies, a bank and a university) B2BPricenow.com Philippines 5
Objective: To increase the efficiency and the productivity of the rural diary industry using ICTs Approach: An electronic equipment that can weigh and analyse milk and also record the transactions, to be used at the collection centres Beneficiaries: Farmers using the 600 collection centres Benefits to community: Better prices, more income Driving Agency: SK Electronics (pvt) – A private firm Akashganga India 6
Objective: To educate children English and ICTs at the village level and use them to empower the farmer communities Approach: A Computer school that complements the government schools’ education programme; computers at children's houses Beneficiaries: The farmer community of the Mahavilachchiya village Benefits to community: Better opportunities for children, Parents can benefit by the knowledge acquired by the children Driving Agency: Horizon Lanka – A trust fund Horizon Sri Lanka 7
Objective: Aimed at serving the community and broadcasting community programmes to alleviate poverty through information and ICTs. Radio Toco came on stream in November 1997, with UNESCO/UNDP assistance within the framework of UNESCO's special programme "Women Speaking to Women", and has gone from strength to strength since then. Approach: A radio station and multimedia centre, offering training Beneficiaries: Rural Community Driving Agency: Toco Foundation with the help of few volunteers Rural Radio – Radio Toco 106.7FM Country: Trinidad and Tobago 8