The Policies, Markets and ICTs (PMI) programme contributes primarily to two of CTA’s strategic goals:
- Enhanced awareness, knowledge and skills, and access to information for engaging in agriculture and rural development policy processes and in agricultural value chain development, and
- Enhanced multi-stakeholder participation in agriculture and rural development policy processes and agricultural value chain development.
ICTs can play a critical role in both supporting stakeholders in influencing ARD policy processes and strategies and value chain development. While conventional media such as print publication, radio and TV are still very much used in ACP countries, the ubiquity since ten years of ICTs - in particular mobile devices - has considerably transformed the way in which people exchange information and interact with each other. Indeed, the new ‘ICT4D’ environment has been dominated by two major developments: (i) the explosive growth and proliferation of mobile phone technologies and supporting wireless infrastructures and (ii) the further penetration of the Internet and the rise of social media.
This Master Project is built around a number of core themes – food and nutrition security, climate change, inter- and intra-regional trade – and sub-themes such as natural resource management. Aspects of social inclusion, science and innovation, gender and youth permeate all activities.
The value chain refers to the full range of activities required to take a product to market, from conceptualisation through design, product development, production, processing, marketing, distribution and consumption. The importance of smallholders in agriculture and the need for value chains to become “inclusive”, whereby those smallholders with necessary assets, skills and access to infrastructure would be able to take advantage of profitable international, regional and domestic markets, was a particular issue addressed by all. The importance of all of these issues to the development of profitable value chains that could have a positive impact on both rural and urban incomes has been stressed on several occasions.