ICTs for Development

Markets and Value Chains

Modernising agriculture through technology

Interview with Agnes Kalibata

September 19, 2013

ICTs are being introduced in Rwanda through strong policies, to transform agriculture from subsistence farming to a market-oriented economic sector, as well as to create jobs for the youth.

Rwanda has two policy priorities which can be drivers for growth: agricultural transformation and investment in information and communication technologies (ICTs). How do farmers and rural areas benefit from the investment in new ICTs?

ICT initiatives benefiting agriculture include the Agricultural Management Information System (AMIS) that allow farmers to have access to extension materials and specialised agricultural experts and companies. Farmers gain agricultural knowledge through, for example, AMIS extension materials and videos, or links to experts.

A useful tool for farmers is the online exchange platform, 'e-Soko', which gives farmers and consumers access to market information such as prices. Through their mobile phones, farmers can also have access to credit information and money transfers, as well as weather forecasts and early warning systems, helping them to mitigate agricultural risks and safeguard their incomes.

Another example is the platform for service delivery and innovation, which provides vouchers for subsidised seed and fertilisers. On a more general level, the Ministry's website helps farmers obtain information and documents.