Why Europe should partner the world’s smallholders to adopt big tech

Originally written on Monday, 4 February 2019 Despite the rise of industrial and intensive farming, it is the world’s 800 million smallholder farmers who continue to shoulder a disproportionate burden of global food security. Family farms with modest plots of land make up around 90 per cent of all agricultural operations and are responsible for producing more…

Attracting private sector investment to digitalise African farming

Originally written on Friday, 7 December 2018 Agriculture in Africa presents a unique investment opportunity. The African Center for Economic Transformation estimates that the continent holds around 600 million hectares of uncultivated arable land, representing almost 65 per cent of the global total. Of the land already cultivated, close to 95 per cent is still rainfed,…

Creating ICT opportunities with the apps4ag database

Originally written on Wednesday, 21 June 2017 In ICT Update and on websites as ICT4D, CTA has covered the explosive growth and proliferation of digital and mobile phone technologies for agriculture. Now CTA takes the next step with developing the Apps4Ag database, a comprehensive, up-to-date and responsive database of ICTs including mobile, web, animation, audio,…

Alternative extension models vs. ICT enabled systems

Originally written on Thursday, 8 June 2017 There is no doubt that agricultural extension and advisory services (EAS) have been going through a tumultuous crisis over the past years. But, from my over 25 years of experience as a farmer, agricultural extension practitioner, and ICT for development specialist, I have come to believe ICTs are…

Building the ICT infrastructure of MUIIS for SMS delivery

Originally written on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 The development of MUIIS technology suite involves a team of technology, communication, data, agronomy and extension experts working together to create a package of bundled services enabled by ICTs. The bundled information services (agronomic, weather and insurance) will be delivered to targeted customers through different delivery channels. SMS…

The web: a thing of the past, or here to stay?

Originally written on Saturday, 1 August 2015 How relevant and useful are web tools for ICT4Ag today? Are they on their way out, or on the contrary, is the web a nucleus from which other channels spread? Is the web still a relevant environment for communicating agricultural information to users? Or is it doomed to…

Making it happen

Originally written on Monday, 2 December 2013 The ICT4Ag conference held in Rwanda in November 2013 was unique in that it brought together a highly representative body of delegates from the ICT and agricultural sectors. The CTA-sponsored ICT4ag conference held on 4–8 November 2013 in Kigali, Rwanda had several objectives, but the conference heading –…

A living database for ICT4Ag

Originally written on Sunday, 1 December 2013 Ben Addom, coordinator of the ‘Emerging innovations’ stream, talks about the effort to create a ‘living database’ of ICT4Ag solutions. In your article in the last issue of ICT Update you mentioned that we need to coordinate efforts to monitor the impact of applications since there are so…