ECOAGRIS is an Agricultural Information System designed for ECOWAS Member States as a dynamic tool to monitor the ECOWAS Agricultural policy (ECOWAP). The system is designed to (i) provide regional decision makers with reliable and updated data and analysis to ensure better formulation and monitoring of agricultural development policies and strategies; (ii) ECOAGRIS is also a trade promotion mechanism targeted at private and public stakeholders in West Africa’s Agricultural Sector. ECOAGRIS was implemented in a first batch of seven West African countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal, while the formulation of a new programme to extend ECOAGRIS to the remaining 8 ECOWAS member states in ongoing between ECOWAS and the European Union.
Ghana Case Study
MOFACASE STUDIES AND LESSONS LEARNED INTHE FORMULATION AND/OR IMPLEMENTATIONOF ICT FOR AGRICULTURE STRATEGIES IN THEACPThe Ghanaian CaseEddie Addo-DankwaPolicy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation DirectorateMinistry of Food and Agriculture (Ghana)
MOFAContent Background The National ICT4D Policy The Agricultural ICT Strategy Current Situation Lessons Learnt Policy Formulation Policy Implementation Conclusion
MOFABackground Realization of the need for a National Policy for ICT (1999/2000) The development of the Ghana ICT4AD (2003) The development of the Ministerial ICT Policy Statement (2005)
MOFAThe National ICT4AD Policy Developed through a consultative process in 2003 with anobjective to “engineer an ICT-led socio-economic developmentprocess with the potential to transform Ghana into a middleincome, information-rich, knowledge-based and technologydriven economy and society” The Policy was designed to address key developmentalchallenges including “an economy that is dominated by anunder-performing agricultural sector a with weak and under-developed industrial and services sector”. The strategic focus was to “target the development of the ICTsector and industry as well as use ICTs as a broad-basedenabler of developmental goals, with emphasis on thedevelopment, deployment and exploitation of ICTs to aid thedevelopment of all other key sectors of the economy”. IncludingAgriculture.
MOFAThe Agricultural ICT Strategy 14 Priority Focus Areas (ICT4AD Pillars) Modernization of Agriculture and the Development of anAgro-Business Industry using ICTs as an enabler Key Strategies: Specifically, the policy will seek to: Promote the deployment and exploitation of ICTs to support theactivities of the agriculture sector. Develop GIS applications to monitor and support sustainableagricultural development (environment, land and watermanagement, crops and livestock management, etc.) Establish agriculture information systems to provide support forthe planning, production, storage and distribution of crops,livestock, and fisheries products.
MOFAThe Agricultural ICT Strategy Commitments: Replace paper-based information systems with electronicsystems Establish WAN to link MOFA HQ with all regional and districtoffices, and other related institutions Create online extension services to provide decision supportsystems Establishment of management information systems Develop Interactive websites
MOFAICTs in Agriculture – A snapshot MOFA website www.mofa.gov.gh WAN linking MOFA HQ and regional Offices eExtension http://e-extensionmofa.com Various Databases (SRID, FBOs, etc) Market Information Systems for farmers (ESOKO) mFarm – for managing farmers, aggregators, inputs, (M&E), etc ECOAGRIS Agricultural GIS Platform www.gis4ghagric.net
MOFALessons LearntPolicy FormulationWho owns the policy? (Ownership)Poor coherence of ICT policy with sector policyNon involvement of technical policy actors at thesectorWeak linkage between the sector ministry and theformulation committeeInadequate consultations – Who was consulted?
MOFALessons LearntPolicy ImplementationHow is the policy implemented? – anyimplementation strategy?Who is responsible for its implementation?Is the current situation a result of the policy?How organic is the ICT policy?How is it responding to changes in the sectorpolicy
MOFAGoing Forward ………Ownership of the policy is about the most crucial step.Involvement of the key stakeholders (not only ICTpersonnel) is very crucialThe buy-in of implementers should be obtained atall cost in the formulation stageThe ICT policy should be coherent with the sectorpolicyAn implementation strategy should be developed toguide the implementation of the policyImplementation should be sensitive to the dynamismsin the sector