eTransform Africa: ICT and Agriculture


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Take stock of emerging uses of ICT across sectors and of good practices in Africa and in other countries, including how ICTs are changing business models in strategic sector of Agriculture.

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eTransform Africa: ICT and Agriculture

  1. 1. Transformation-Ready: <br />The Strategic Application of ICTs in Africa<br />Impact of ICTs in Agriculture<br />June 2011<br />1<br />
  2. 2. PROJECT APPROACH<br />Submitted<br />Underway<br />Submitted<br />Submitted<br />2<br />
  3. 3. STAKEHOLDERS<br />FARMERS<br /><ul><li>All farmers, livestock breeders and allied practitioners;
  4. 4. All organised association of these stakeholders; and
  5. 5. All unorganised association of these stakeholders.</li></ul>GOVERNMENT<br /><ul><li>The relevant Ministry of Agriculture
  6. 6. The Departments and other functional units under the Ministry; and
  7. 7. Parastatal entities working under the aegis of the Ministry and pursuing their respective mandates</li></ul>RESEARCHERS<br /><ul><li>Researchers, or those who are pursuing research;
  8. 8. Educators, or those who are in the business of providing sector education to sector practitioners; and
  9. 9. Trainers, or those whose work it is to provide training to people to improve their employability.</li></ul>BUSINESSES<br /><ul><li>Businesses, including Agri-Extension service providers, Agri-Input providers, food processing industries, market operators;
  10. 10. Associations, or organised associations of business entities that raise advocacy concerns for business organisations; and
  11. 11. Other organisations, such as donors, regional associations.</li></ul>3<br />
  12. 12. FRAMEWORK<br />Figure 2 The Inter-Stakeholder Information Requirement Landscape<br />4<br />
  13. 13. FRAMEWORK<br />5<br />
  14. 14. 6<br />
  15. 15. CASE STUDY-ECHOUPAL<br />The Problem<br />INPUT CONSTRAINTS<br /><ul><li>Farmers did not have access to (a) quality inputs, such as sowing seeds, herbicides, and pesticides, or (b) information, such as accurate weather reports, that would help them improve their crop quality as well as the process of bringing it to market.
  16. 16. They did not reap financial benefits from any profits made off the valuable soybean-derived materials.
  17. 17. Losing 60-70% of the potential value of their crop, with agricultural yields only a third to a quarter of global standards. </li></ul>OUTPUT CONSTRAINTS<br /><ul><li>Middlemen clogged the supply chain, reducing profit margins for both farmers and buyers.
  18. 18. Unfair practices affected the way the farmers were paid, weighing of produce, and the time taken by the process. This increased transaction costs, slashing potential profits for the farmer.</li></ul>7<br />
  19. 19. CASE STUDY-ECHOUPAL<br />Information Dissemination a<br />Commodity Exchange/Payment X<br />Farmer Advisory Network a<br />Hardware<br /><ul><li>A PC (Windows/Intel), multimedia
  20. 20. Connection lines, telephone or VSAT
  21. 21. Power supply (UPS and solar-powered battery)
  22. 22. A dot-matrix printer</li></ul>Software<br /><ul><li>eChoupal portal application</li></ul>Functionality/Feature<br /><ul><li>All kinds of information (weather, inputs, prices, trends etc)
  23. 23. Special deal
  24. 24. Local language + Facilitators
  25. 25. Advisory- Q/A features
  26. 26. News
  27. 27. Value-added: Quality Certification
  28. 28. Transparency- Price Discovery</li></ul>Village Elder<br />Walking Distance<br />Farmer<br />AT THE VILLAGE<br />Business Entity<br />Driving Distance<br />Walking Distance<br />Functionality/Feature<br /><ul><li>Computerized weighing of the produce
  29. 29. Sale at the Discovered Price
  30. 30. Value Added features like soil testing etc
  31. 31. Restroom facilities</li></ul>AT NEARBY TOWN- POINT OF SALE<br />8<br />
  32. 32. OTHER CASE STUDIES<br />9<br />
  33. 33. BEST PRACTICES/RECOMMENDATIONS<br />REGULATORY<br /><ul><li>Integrate ICT into Agriculture Sector Strategies and Agriculture into National eStrategies
  34. 34. Have Partnership Frameworks/ MoUs agreed upon between participants in any eAgriculture venture
  35. 35. Draft Operating Manuals on how any eAgriculture venture will run and disseminate this information to all concerned
  36. 36. Align eAgriculture ventures with existing governmental schemes in operation
  37. 37. Make all ventures as self-sustaining as is possible; explore the possibility of supporting this by Universal Service Fund
  38. 38. Lobby for governments to provide support to eAgriculture ventures</li></ul>ACCESS<br /><ul><li>Provide the right mix of Universal Access and Universal Service features to expand access
  39. 39. Exploit the fact that mobile penetration rates are growing much faster than PC and there is already a very high penetration of Radios and TVs
  40. 40. Exploit economies of scale to bring down the per capita expenditure on ICT at the community level (telecentre), national level (collaboration horizontally and vertically), and across countries (regional level networks to minimise international network requirements)
  41. 41. Use low power and solar-powered devices</li></ul>CONTENT<br /><ul><li>At the minimum provide market information prices, weather forecasts, transport facilities, information on storage facilities and information related to crop and livestock diseases and general advice related to agriculture
  42. 42. Depending on the context, affordability and capability use the most judicious mix of text (SMS), voice, video to provide information to farmers
  43. 43. Use the most judicious mix of channels and devices – Radio, Television, Mobile Phones, Computers, Fixed Line and Print Media</li></ul>10<br />
  44. 44. BEST PRACTICES/RECOMMENDATIONS<br /><ul><li>Bi-directional flow of information and content building on Agriculture and related areas
  45. 45. Undertake an Information and Services Needs Assessment before designing content</li></ul>TRUST AND CONFIDENCE<br /><ul><li>Involve all participants right from the planning stage of the initiative to its implementation
  46. 46. All underlying partnerships must be on a Win-Win basis for the initiative to sustain
  47. 47. Embark on awareness and sensitisation missions to spread the efficacy of ICT</li></ul>CAPABILITY<br /><ul><li>Use ICT channels and devices to provide education and training (Literacy, Numeracy, ICT Literacy, Specific Applications)
  48. 48. Integrate ICT into Agriculture education systems
  49. 49. Empower communities through development of core skills</li></ul>11<br />
  50. 50. GUIDELINES FOR DONORS <br />CHECKLIST FOR DONORS<br /><ul><li>Involve communities as stakeholders not beneficiaries
  51. 51. A robust ICT infrastructure with redundancy is a must
  52. 52. Empower communities through development of core skills
  53. 53. Ensure the right partnerships are in place before taking initiatives forward
  54. 54. Use existing infrastructure wherever possible to cushion cost pressures
  55. 55. Target ideas with a low gestation period
  56. 56. Identify skills conducive for remote ICT-enabled training delivery
  57. 57. Relentlessly explore revenue streams to ensure sustainability
  58. 58. Select the problem that impacts the greatest number of people
  59. 59. Collaboration with government initiative improves scalability/ sustainability
  60. 60. Large NGO's offer an opportunity to scale up geographically
  61. 61. Content at community and software production at educational institutes
  62. 62. Explore collaboration with training certifying bodies for better acceptability
  63. 63. Strong Financial Incentives for the Service Provider
  64. 64. Exit Strategies should be in place</li></ul>12<br />
  65. 65. ANGOLA<br />GHANA<br />Initiatives<br /><ul><li>ICT for Accelerated Development (ICT4AD) – A policy represents the vision of Ghana in the information age and addresses 14 priority focus areas including "Modernizing agriculture and developing an agro-business industry"
  66. 66. CocoaLink - Connecting Cocoa Communities- To use mobile technology to connect cocoa farmers with useful information about improving farming practices, farm safety, child labor, health, crop disease prevention, post-harvest production and crop marketing.
  67. 67. Market Access Promotion Network (MAPRONET)-3 basic business information centres where farmers can access market information and other relevant agricultural information.
  68. 68. Esoko - Live market feeds, Direct SMS Marketing, Online Profiling and Marketing</li></ul>Initiatives<br /><ul><li>ANGONET - A computer communication service provided by Development Workshop (DW). This initiative is for the organisations and individuals working for social and economic development and humanitarian assistance programs in Angola.
  69. 69. SDN-Angola - An initiative taken for the exchange of information between regional and international organisations involved on environment and sustainable development areas. </li></ul>13<br />
  70. 70. BOTSWANA<br />EGYPT<br />Initiatives<br /><ul><li>Free Internet and Broadband- A joint effort of MCIT and Telecom Egypt. The initiative offers subscription-free Internet services to users via dial-up to special-prefix numbers
  71. 71. PCs for Community– Evolved from the PC for Every Home project to increase PC usage and to attain the level of penetration to reach one PC per every three families.
  72. 72. The VERCON Project - Aimed at addressing the needs of small-scale Egyptian farmers through information exchange between agricultural research and extension and indirectly the farmers themselves.
  73. 73. Rural and Agricultural Development Communication Network (RADCON) - Participatory communication and harnessing the potential of ICT to strengthen communication among the stakeholders in agricultural and rural development</li></ul>Initiatives<br /><ul><li>KitsongCenters - The Rural Telecommunications Programme targets provision of essential infrastructure services in rural areas. The services include Internet lines, and telephones, and Community Access Centers (CAC).
  74. 74. Community User Information System (CUIS) - To develop a computer network system to provide e-mail and on-line information in rural areas with collection, processing and distribution of locally generated information.
  75. 75. Question and Answer Service - To provide information services and products to researcher, extension works and rural producers in Africa.
  76. 76. Livestock Identification Trace-back System (LITS) - System introduced to enable Botswana to comply with new regulatory procedures required by the European Union, which accounts for 80 to 90% of Botswana’s beef exports. </li></ul>14<br />
  77. 77. ETHIOPIA<br />KENYA<br />Initiatives<br /><ul><li>M-Pesa- Kenya is the first country in the world to use mobile phones for cash-transfers through a service called M-Pesa developed by Safaricom Limited.
  78. 78. Ushahidi and Swift River: Crowdsourcing innovations
  79. 79. Ushahidi - To help citizen and journalists to gather reports of violence in the contested election.
  80. 80. Enter Swift River - To use machine algorithms and crowdsourcing to verify incoming stream of information.
  81. 81. Kenya Agricultural Commodities Exchange (KACE) MIS Project - KACE collects, processes, updates and disseminates market information daily to farmers and other market intermediaries through the MIS.
  82. 82. Farmer Helplines– A call centre to find answers to the farmer’s questions.
  83. 83. Rural telecentres- Updated content on weather forecasts and relevant commodity prices on markets.</li></ul>Initiatives<br /><ul><li>WoredaNetInitiative- WoredaNet is a terrestrial and satellite-based network designed with the objective to provide ICT services such as video conferencing, directory, messaging and VoIP and Internet connectivity to the Federal, Regional and Woreda level government entities.
  84. 84. Livestock Information Network and Knowledge System (LINKS) - Livestock marketing information system that is geared towards addressing the needs for timely and reliable livestock marketing information for producers, traders and policy makers in the livestock subsector.
  85. 85. roving Agricultural Productivity and Market Success of Ethiopian Farmers (IMPS) - Contribute to improved agricultural productivity and production through market‐oriented agricultural development . It is focusing on the smallholder rural population of Ethiopia</li></ul>15<br />
  86. 86. SUDAN<br />SENEGAL<br />Initiatives<br /><ul><li>Senegal’s Trade Facilitation Solution (ORBUS)- The ORBUS System has been powered to facilitate foreign trade formalities through electronic exchanges among different stakeholders. Built on a technological infrastructure and a set of services, ORBUS has led to a significant reduction of the pre-clearance time and formalities-related costs, an improved quality of the service offered to clients, and the almost elimination of paperwork.
  87. 87. Manobi-Up to date Information with WAP-enabled Cellphones and Short Messaging Service for Fishing and Farming Communities, Senegal - An initiative to use basic cellphones with wireless access protocol (WAP) and short messaging service (SMS) technology to provide members of Senegalese fishing communities and fruit and vegetable grower farming communities with up-to-date weather and market price information. </li></ul>Initiatives<br /><ul><li>Multi-Purpose Community Learning Centers (MCLCs)- MCLCs are local centers that provide lifelong learning opportunities to empower local communities in villages, slums, and poor urban areas. MCLCs provide education combined with skills and training for income-generating activities leading to improving the quality of life of poor people. Several MCLCs have been set up in Lebanon, Syria, Palestinian Camps, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, and Yemen.</li></ul>16<br />
  88. 88. SOMALIA<br />RWANDA<br />Initiatives<br /><ul><li>ICT for improving agriculture in Rwanda - The aim of the project is to introduce ICT in the agricultural extension in Rwanda in such a way that all the involved actors in agriculture will be able to make the right decisions about relevant projects and come up with the best possible solutions in the field of agriculture.
  89. 89. e-Sokoportal – A part of the e-Rwanda initiative . It is a World Bank funded ICT project being implemented by RITA (Rwanda Information Technology Authority) and is intended to mitigate against current information gap for farmers with the use of ICTs.</li></ul>Initiatives<br /><ul><li>Kubere Information Centre (KIC) - A multi-dimensional information centre offering Agricultural information. The main objective of this centre is to enhance and improve access to agricultural information to and from rural women farmers using a variety of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
  90. 90. Livestock Information Network and Knowledge System (LINKS) -Livestock marketing information system that is geared towards addressing the needs for timely and reliable livestock marketing information for producers, traders and policy makers in the livestock subsector.</li></ul>17<br />
  91. 91. MOROCCO<br />TANZANIA<br />Initiatives<br /><ul><li>ICT4RD - Provides ICT access to the rural Tanzania through unutilized infrastructures. It is built around three key pillars of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Usage.
  92. 92. Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP)- To enable stakeholders in the agricultural sector including ministries, local government authorities, processors, marketers and farmers to communicate better and more effectively through mobiles and computers linked to wide area networks (WAN) AND Internet.
  93. 93. CROMABU– To empower small scale farmers economically by enhancing access to price information and insights in trade flows.
  94. 94. Family Alliance for Development and Cooperation (FADECO)- Started with a rural library which provided information resources and then started its own newsletter called WAZA) and information notice‐boards</li></ul>Initiatives<br /><ul><li>Internet in rural Morocco - Although the main focus is on women, the effects of ICTs will be considered for both sexes. This initiative provides Morocco woman information on agriculture farming and market prices.
  95. 95. Agriculture deal with Algeria – To acquire highly efficient agricultural practices necessitated by the scarcity of land suitable for crop cultivation.</li></ul>18<br />
  96. 96. UGANDA<br />ZAMBIA<br />Initiatives<br /><ul><li>The Chipata District Women’s - The association provides support to women in learning new skills, improving their capacity to earn more income and live healthier lives.
  97. 97. Zambian Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE)- ZAMACE is owned and self-regulated by the agricultural industry stakeholders. Agricultural commodity exchanges bring more formality to trading methods, enhancing market transparency and increase the quantity and quality of commodities traded, for the benefit of the agricultural sector and the economy as a whole.
  98. 98. SMS Information Service- a cross‐border SMS market information service that provides farmers and traders in Zambia and the Katanga province of the Congo with daily information on stock availability, market prices and sales trends that is also supported by its website.
  99. 99. Farmers’ Internet Café - established by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) to link the ZNFU with affiliates at district level while at the same time providing access to information to individual union members. </li></ul>Initiatives<br /><ul><li>The Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) - Aplace to share news, information and activities on female-related issues in Uganda. WOUGNET’s goal is to promote the use of ICTs by women’s organizations and individuals for the better being of Ugandan women.
  100. 100. FOODNET– Launched for post-harvest and market research network for East and Central Africa. Additionally it implements, backstops and collaborates on many other post-harvest and marketing information projects and programmes.
  101. 101. Farmers' Friend- An Applab initiative primarily to fulfill the information needs of farmer community.
  102. 102. Google Trader- Project facilitated to break the limitation of inefficient transport network and knowledge of market conditions to the small producers.</li></ul>19<br />
  103. 103. CASE STUDY :LIVESTOCK TRACKING AND TRACEABILITY IN NAMIBIA<br /><ul><li>Summary of initial findings
  104. 104. Opportunities
  105. 105. Challenges </li></li></ul><li>THE INTRODUCTION OF ANIMAL TRACKING AND TRACEABILITY IS A PRACTICAL REALITY IN AFRICA<br />Namibia is an excellent example of what can be done in terms of creating a sustainable and practical tracking and traceability system in a Country. Through a systematic and well planned approach they were able to implement a traceability system that conforms to world standards and created a competitive edge for the countries livestock industry. The success of the system can be ascribed to the following:<br /><ul><li>Use of traditional identification systems (branding) in conjunction with new technology (RFID) to create reliable and rugged identification
  106. 106. Identification and the active involvement of all role players in the planning and implementation process
  107. 107. Use of all possible communication methodologies in order to reach, inform update all parties
  108. 108. Active training of relevant parties in the use of the technology, administration of the system and vesting a culture of participation and problem solving
  109. 109. Creating the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the system can operate</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>Taking cognisance of the traditional systems and cultures within the industry and using these as a tool to implementation and operation
  110. 110. Use of a technical support team on a contractual basis for a specified time duration to assist in initial roll out
  111. 111. Veterinary Services which are staffed by extremely well trained professionals which are backed up by a trained cadre of para - veterinarians and animal health workers
  112. 112. Highly qualified technical personnel in the Veterinary Laboratories
  113. 113. Historical close cooperation that exists between the Veterinary Services and other stakeholders such as The Meat Board of Namibia, Namibia Agricultural Union and producers
  114. 114. The existence of a strong Governmental support network in terms of the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry extension services
  115. 115. Government support – technical/funding as well as donor funding through the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Namibia Compact
  116. 116. A free market system of supply and demand in an environment that is conducive to foreign investment.</li></li></ul><li>Opportunities in Africa<br />23<br />
  117. 117. OPPORTUNITIES IN AFRICA CONTINUED<br />24<br />Opportunities<br />As illustrated in the previous slide, almost fifty percent of Africa is suited for mixed and animal farming. This means that a vast untapped resource exists for the production of animal feed and animal protein. We view it as extremely important that these resources be developed as a practical solution to African and International Food Security. This development is crucial for economic and social improvement and will achieve the following:<br />Creation of value chains which will lead to value adding to primary staple foods as well as by products<br />Foreign Direct Investment in terms of infrastructure, plant and equipment<br />Creation of new export markets and growth in the agricultural sector as a major contributor to GDP<br />The ability to initiate new projects with the correct use of ICT at start up which can also be used to improve management practices (skills improvement) <br />Productive use of resources which has up to this stage only been marginally utilised<br />General improvement of animal production efficiencies and the application of Good Agriculture <br />Creation of a basis for sustainable and viable projects in Africa. <br />
  118. 118. CHALLENGES IN AFRICA<br /><ul><li>Lack of capacity in terms of trained Government officials (extension services) as well as Veterinary staff
  119. 119. Under developed markets and lack of supply / value chain activities
  120. 120. Re active and not pro active veterinary services
  121. 121. Lack of market information and insufficient trader credit
  122. 122. Lack of Government support in terms of Legislation and funding
  123. 123. Issues that has been cited as reasons for failure in the implementation of traceability systems are human and capital limitations
  124. 124. Farmer illiteracy and perceived intrusion by systems which are not deemed confidential.</li></ul>Challenges to the successful implementation of traceability and tracking systems in Africa<br />The most important hurdle in Africa is the willingness of Governments to actively support agriculture and to create an environment that is attractive to foreign investors. The correct legislation as well as the application of the law is lacking. Market systems are also characterised by different degrees of Government control and taxation structures are as a rule fairly prohibitive. Support services to agriculture is lacking and the actual effectiveness of extension services is sometimes suspect. Other challenges that needs to be addressed are:<br />The traditional pastoral system of livestock farming where no movement control exists <br />Absence of any form of traceability system<br />Cross border incursions needs to be curbed. Currently examples exist where border wars are fought over cattle and grazing rights<br />Total lack of infrastructure such as animal handling facilities, extension offices, equipment and vehicles<br />No clear demarcation of disease control areas<br />25<br />
  125. 125. CASE STUDY :EGYPT -THE ROLE OF ICT IN IRRIGATION <br />Summary<br />Opportunities<br />Challenges<br />
  126. 126. THE USE OF ICT IN IRRIGATION <br />Use of soil moisture sensors (tensiometers) as a management tool to determine water requirements of crops<br />Creating the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the system can operate with specific reference to water usage<br /><ul><li>The use of a extended project approach so as to reach individual farmers. Cognisance should be taken of the fact that many farmers are in actual fact women
  127. 127. Use of a technical support team on a contractual basis for a specified time duration to assist in initial roll out. The establishment of training centers for farmers as well as government officials is a pre requisite </li></ul>Irrigation farming is one of the key solutions to food security in the world. The challenge is to design systems which are water efficient with optimal production per unit through a system of multi cropping.<br />The challenge is to design robust systems which is able to supply real time feedback in terms of the operational efficiency in order to make adjustments as required on a daily basis for optimum efficiency. <br />Design of successful irrigation projects are subject to the following basic requirements:<br />High resolution imagery (VHRI) of land via satellite where computer software is utilized to enhance the image of potential projects regarding variations of soil fertility, land size and shape and contours which could assist with farming ventures<br />Information from across the country on soil types, topography, water resources, current land use, and socio-economic factors and data on each criterion utilizing GIS<br />
  128. 128. THE USE OF ICT IN IRRIGATION CONTINUES<br />Establishment of the following facilities on a project basis<br /><ul><li>Weather station linked to a central management office with dissemination of information via SMS or radio
  129. 129. Laboratories for analyses of soil, leaf and water samples
  130. 130. Clinic for the local project participants </li></ul>Highly qualified technical personnel to staff laboratories<br />The existence of a strong Governmental support network in terms of extension services. <br />Government support – technical/funding as well as donor funding to ensure the viability and sustainability of projects<br />A free market system of supply and demand in an environment that is conducive to foreign investment.<br />
  131. 131. OPPORTUNITIES IN IRRIGATION<br />Foreign Direct Investment in terms of infrastructure, plant and equipment which will be crucial for the development of integrated irrigation systems<br />Contrary to popular belief, irrigation will still be required even in areas of high rainfall, as it stabilises water supply and production. It also serves as a major risk mitigant in times of drought which is becoming more prevalent throughout Africa, due to the effects of global warming.<br />Irrigation also enables the production of crops and products which are in high demand but could otherwise not be cultivated under rain fed conditions<br />As for Africa, huge opportunities exist as most of the great lakes in East Africa is under utilized. The advantage of the potential irrigable areas in Africa are that they are quite similar in terms of clay percentage to the Egyptian soils and therefore subject to the same management practises.<br />The establishment of projects similar to that which are found along the Nile is practical as development will also have to take place along irrigation cannels where whole communities can be included in projects.<br />The planning of projects based on Egyptian systems will ensure the long term viability as salination on heavy soils will definitely be a long term risk in Africa. Potential to quadruple yields and gross income is very possible as Africa’s utilisation of available water resources is minimal.<br />Through proper design of irrigation projects, water efficiency can be optimised with the result that a larger number of hectare’s can be irrigated as would normally be the case. Creation of value chains which will lead to value adding to primary staple foods and export opportunities after the issue of food security has been addressed. <br />.<br />
  132. 132. CHALLENGES TO THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF ICT IN IRRIGATION SYSTEMS IN AFRICA<br />The most important hurdle in Africa is the willingness of Governments to actively support agriculture and to create an environment that is attractive to foreign investors. The correct legislation as well as the application of the law is lacking. Market systems are also characterised by different degrees of Government control and taxation structures are as a rule fairly prohibitive. Support services to agriculture is lacking and the actual effectiveness of extension services is sometimes suspect. Other challenges that needs to be addressed are:<br />The traditional cropping systems where little or no irrigation is done due to absence of infrastructure <br />Lack of capacity in terms of trained Government officials (extension services)<br />Lack of infrastructure in terms of pumping stations, irrigation cannels, fair water distribution mechanisms<br />Unclear land tenure, property and water rights<br />Under developed markets and lack of supply / value chain activities<br />Lack of market information and insufficient trader credit<br />Lack of Government commitment and support in terms of Legislation and funding<br />Farmer illiteracy and lack of experience in commercial irrigation venture.<br />
  133. 133. QUESTIONS?<br />