The Blog

Social reporting at ICT4Ag – Tracking reach, understanding engagement

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been busy with the preparation and the coordination of the social reporting team for the ICT4Ag conference in Kigali. I’ll blog separately about the process and learnings (actually, a lot!) in terms of both technology and people for a successful social reporting effort.

But if you are interested in discussing Twitter reach and online engagement around the event, please stay with me for a few minutes and keep reading.

The starting point for this conversation is the post that my friend and colleague Pete Cranston published few days back. I’m grateful for the questions he poses, as they couldn’t provide a better framework for my reflection. (more…)

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Excursion at its best!

Riten Gosai at the field visit

Riten Gosai at the field visit

Blessed be the mind who thought conferences should be concluded with field trips. You have my gratitude, my salutes. #ICT4Ag13 had the provision of not just one but nine field trips to choose from! Every excursion promised its own uniqueness and participants of the conference pursued those of particular interest. (more…)

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Scalability: Essential for ICT solutions to reach smallholder farmers

Farmer learning Event, Lower Nyando

Farmer learning Event, Lower Nyando

With several ICT solutions targeting farmers showcased at the ICT4Ag conference, there is no doubt that African, Caribean and Pacific countries are harnessing the use of ICTs to improve agricultural productivity. Having listened to more than one presentation, I could see some gaps in these services: they are not directly targeted to the illiterate farmers, who of course are the major farmers in these areas. As a young farmer, I see ICTs as a way to go in the development of agriculture but also the fact is that technology should be designed in a very simple way. I think there is no need to create a web platform or a high-end smartphone app for a smallholder farmer, who can’t even check how much air time is on their phone! (more…)

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ICTs improving the livestock sector in Africa: Case studies from Ethiopia and Kenya

Borana goat

Borana goat

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can simply be defined as the techniques and tools used to access information and to communicate with each other. In East Africa, the livestock sector contributes up to 30% of National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of some countries. This explains why for the last decade, the livestock sector has been using ICT tools for various purposes. Case studies of the impact of ICT applications in the livestock sector from countries like Ethiopia, India and Kenya were presented at the ICT4Ag conference. (more…)

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Technology and the farmers of tomorrow

This post was written by Martina Mascarenhas, the Communications Fellow for the CGIAR Consortium.

Approximately 85% of youth in Asia, Africa and Latin America depend on agriculture for food security and their livelihoods.  Technology and the spread of social media have empowered youth to become social activists, entrepreneurs, and to develop connections with not only their local communities but also the rest of the world. Technology somehow seems to have made this vast universe quite small.

Agriculture as it is today is simply not sexy enough for today’s youth. This is a refrain that we hear over and over again. Just as ICTs are becoming the new buzz word, youth are today’s most popular yet marginalized group.

Read the full post on CGIAR website.

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Comment utiliser les TIC pour attirer les jeunes dans l’agriculture ?

Participants à la conférence ICT4Ag

Participants à la conférence ICT4Ag

La cérémonie de clôture de la conférence internationale ICT4Ag n’est pas terminé par les discours traditionnels mais c’était une occasion pour les organisateurs de faire un point de la conférence. C’était aussi une séance de réflexion pour l’ensemble des participants. Plusieurs sujets ont retenu l’attention des organisateurs. Des petits groupes ont été constitués pour réfléchir sur des problématiques dont la question d’attirer les jeunes dans l’agriculture par le biais des TIC. (more…)

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Transformative power of innovative ICTs for media in agriculture

Social Reporter at the ICT4Ag conference

Social Reporter at the ICT4Ag conference

The media is undeniably an influencing factor in public perceptions. It is of critical importance that the agricultural sector engages the media to promote positive messages to address the challenges of the sector.  It is particularly important to tailor messages to encourage youth involvement in agriculture. Traditional media use mediums of print, television and radio. The internet has introduced means of reporting using social media and virtual news rooms. There is also a new dimension to public relations called media monitoring. (more…)

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De nouvelles approches de vulgarisation développées par les africains grâce aux TIC

Depuis fort longtemps, plusieurs approches de vulgarisation agricole ou de transfert de technologie se sont basées sur des approches occidentales comme « top down », « bottom up » ou des approches participatives, mais les résultats ne sont pas toujours satisfaisants. Mais avec l’avènement des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (TIC), de nouvelles approches de diffusion d’information ont été développées afin de permettre aux producteurs d’améliorer leurs revenus. (more…)

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Using mobile-to-web frameworks to recognise short term trends around processing and production

m-poultry

Poultry sellers in Mozambique

am·poultry is a mobile technology developed by access mobile, and the am stands for access mobile. The company has so far developed other applications like am·coffee (currently deployed in partnership with one of the largest specialty coffee exporters in Rwanda), am.health (deployed in a national scale rollout across 70 HIPS partner clinics in Uganda), and am·poultry serves poultry farmers. (more…)

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Agri-Hack Championship: a promising model to speed up agricultural revolution

Winners of the agri-Hack Championship with representatives from CTA, AGRA and m:Lab East Africa

Winners of the agri-Hack Championship with representatives from CTA, AGRA and m:Lab East Africa

The need for mentorship and financial support  for young people as a way of attracting them to engage in agriculture has proven to be one of the key strategies to ensure high speed agricultural revolution; the actual growth which every citizen and nation is striving to achieve. (more…)

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