ICTs for Development

Markets and Value Chains

ICT4Ag experts preparing to meet in the Netherlands

October 21, 2014

How can we best address the challenge of scaling up services based on information and communication technologies for agriculture (ICT4Ag) and how can we make them sustainable? These are the two key questions that 40 ICT4Ag experts from across the globe will confront at an expert consultation on “Facilitating the Convergence of ICT Channels for Agriculture” convened by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA).

The consultation, which is taking place from 29 to 31 October 2014 in Rhenen, the Netherlands, will bring together experts using channels such as mobile phones, web, radio, video, interactive voice response (IVR), telecentres, animation and print with farmers, researchers, extension specialists, and donors to explore how to link these channels in integrated approaches to communication in support of agricultural and rural development.

The participants will examine how this can best be done at both the system/application development level and the programme/initiative development level to deliver the agricultural content users need, when they need it and in the best form to meet their needs.  

Speaking on the importance of the event, CTA Programme Coordinator Dr Benjamin K. Addom noted that the consultation is a follow up to the 2013 International Conference on ICT4Ag organised by CTA and partners in Kigali, Rwanda.

A key recommendation from the participants was that, to achieve real impact on the intended beneficiaries, stakeholders should develop partnerships and collaboration that build on existing models and approaches. “We expect concrete commitments from representatives of the various stakeholder groups – donors, researchers, intermediaries, ICT4Ag application and programme developers – to jointly attack the challenge head-on,” said Addom.  

The consultation is part of CTA’s ‘’Building Viable Delivery Models (BVDM) for ICT4Ag’’ initiative, which is designed to help accelerate the process of adoption, uptake and scaling up of ICTs for agriculture by and for the benefit of rural communities.

Institutions expected to be part of this initial event include the African Forum on Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), CAB Internationalal, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Digital Green, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Dutch Ministries of Foreign and Economic Affairs, the East African Farmers Federation (EAFF), Farm Radio International (FRI), the Grameen Foundation App Lab, Green Dreams Ltd. (iCow), IKSL India,  the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Literacy Bridge, the Rwandan Telecentre Network (RTN), TechnoServe, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of the West Indies (UWI).  

For more information on the event, please follow us on twitter #ITconverge4Ag.

For organisations and individuals interested in joining the BVDM for ICT4Ag initiative, contact us at bvdm@cta.int.  

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). It operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.


Photo Credit: aicto.org