Photo Credit: Agronet-Colombia
AGRONET, a National Agricultural Information and Communication Network was developed with the goal to connect small producers in Colombia and reduce the digital divide through public private partnerships and growing broadband penetration in rural municipalities.
A Government of Colombia’s initiative under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The main aim is to provide information and knowledge on new techniques for sustainable food security and for the diversification of crops in order to improve productivity and opportunities in the market. While the network is aimed at policy makers, other stakeholders in the agricultural chain including small producers are expected to benefit through the platform.
Agronet platform helps in standardizing and integrating resources to offer value-added information and communication services for the agricultural sector using modern and traditional ICTs. The platform also has alliances with several actors in order to integrate other systems of information into the network and expand the content offered.
In order to serve producers with relevant and targeted information, Agronet has developed user profiles of all users based on needs assessment and users’ particular productive activities. Taking advantage of the penetration of mobile technologies in the rural users, new agricultural innovations – technologies and methods are introduced to producers systemically through SMS. Producers receive updates on Agronet’s platform, including changes in its databases and other news and events pertinent to agriculture.
Agronet offers a dedicated space for the agribusiness to view supply and demand, and to publish notices of products and services related to agriculture and agribusiness. The platform also has a digital library, policy documents related to agriculture and food security and other statistical bulletins for students, researchers and policy makers within the agricultural field. Agronet also gives its users the opportunity to train virtually from online courses available on the website. The platform also allows small producers to search for credit information for their farm inputs, market for their produce, and information of other stakeholders.
Over the medium term, Agronet plans to provide a greater wealth of content and information services to producers by adding capacity in digital television. For more information, visit Agronet.