Reflections on Mobile Agriculture Services: Blog Series

The mFarmer Initiative, a partnership between GSMA, USAID and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in collaboration with e-Agriculture, initiated an online discussion late November to early December 2011. The 2-week forum which was organized around six main questions, touched on critical issues from partnerships, barriers to scale, business cases/models, content, and mistakes committed by…

App for Ag. User-Generated Content Sharing?

Next2 is a “geosocial” network that allows people to automatically connect around location and by common topics of interest or concern.  By sending a text message, a Next2 subscriber can signal what they have, want or would like to learn or talk about and Next2 automatically matches and then exchanges text messages between users based on…

Ripfumelo: “Getting to Zero” with ICTs

Initiated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s Regional Office for Southern Africa and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2009, the Ripfumelo (“believe” in xiTsonga language) program is designed to reduce HIV vulnerability among farm workers in South Africa’s Limpopo and Mpumalanga…

12 Opportunities for Mobile Telecommunications in Agriculture

In their recent report “Connected Agriculture,” Vodafone and Accenture with support from Oxfam outlined 12 opportunities that mobile telecommunication has for farmers. The opportunities were identified as ‘the most important’ through stakeholder consultations and are grouped into four categories. Category I: Improving Access to Financial Services through increasing access and affordability to these services tailored…

“Agriculture Goes High Tech” – A Decade of Digital Video!

It is over 10 years now that the Commonwealth of Learning Media Empowerment (COLME) program hit the media with the headline “Agriculture Goes High Tech With Digital Video”. This came up as a result of the success of their pilot project that used digital technology to produce farm instructional videos in Ghana and Jamaica for…

Reforming Ag. Extension, One ICT at a Time!

Two recent case studies on some ICTs for agricultural development projects supported through the GSMA Development Fund – mAgri Program reveal an emerging trend within the broader Agricultural Extension Services (AES) and specifically in the developing nations, that worth commenting on. The revealing trend I’ve noticed, is that, either drastic policies and actions be taken…

The Magic of ICTs: Rural Women in Agriculture

Let’s imagine the state of the global food security in the next 3-5 years, if rural women decide to back out of agriculture and food production today? Secondly, let’s visualize how access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) by rural women could reverse the negative impacts that this could make on the globe – that…

IFAD President: Africa can ensure its own food security

The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, hosted a virtual press conference from his Rome office yesterday, September 29 to discuss why he believes Africa can ensure its own food security through investment in agriculture, with particular focus on West Africa. The interactive press briefing touched on a…

ICT4Ag ShareFair Next Week!

Agriculture professionals will converge at the Headquarters of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) next week in Rome for the 2nd Global Agricultural Knowledge Share Fair. As I write this, it is days away from kick-off of the 4-day event in Rome from the 26-29 September. With all the excitements that ShareFair brings, participants…