Agriculture by jhfangqian

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									     ICTs for
   agriculture
     in Africa




eTransform aFrica
                    AFRICAN UNION
This document, on the use of ICTs for Agriculture in Africa, is the summary
of the full sector study which was carried out by a team from Deloitte,
led by Omri Van Zyl and comprising Trish Alexander, Liezl De Graaf and
Kamal Mukherjee with assistance from Vikash Kumar. The full report is
available at www.eTransformAfrica.org. This document forms chapter two
of the publication edited by Enock Yonazi, Tim Kelly, Naomi Halewood
and Colin Blackman (2012) “eTransform Africa: The Transformational Use
of ICTs in Africa.”

Funding for the publication came from the AfDB Korean Trust Fund,
the WB Pfizer Trust Fund and the WB Africa regional department.




eTransform aFrica
                                                                   AFRICAN UNION
     ICTs for
   agriculture
     in Africa
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have
the potential to transform business and government in Africa,
driving entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth.
A new flagship report – eTransform Africa – produced
by the World Bank and the African Development Bank,
with the support of the African Union, identifies best
practice in the use of ICTs in key sectors of the African
economy. Under the theme “Transformation-Ready”,
the growing contribution of ICTs to Agriculture, Climate
Change Adaptation, Education, Financial Services,
Government Services and Health is explored. In addition,
the report highlights the role of ICTs in enhancing African
regional trade and integration as well as the need to build
a competitive ICT industry to promote innovation, job
creation and the export potential of African companies.
              introduction
ICTs for
agriculture
in Africa




    1
                                                                                         3




The strategic application of ICT to the    • dependency on foreign aid.
agricultural industry, the largest eco-
nomic sector in most African coun-         African agriculture is largely traditional
tries, offers the best opportunity for     and practised by smallholders and pas-
economic growth and poverty allevia-       toralists. This type of agriculture is pre-
tion on the continent. Food security is    dominantly rain-fed, has low-yielding
paramount for the survival of individ-     production, and lacks access to critical
uals, families and ultimately nations,     information, market facilitation, and fi-
yet Africa’s agriculture sector has been   nancial intermediation services.
in decline over the past 40 years. Poor
farmers have largely remained poor         The role that ICT can play a in address-
with 73 per cent of the people living      ing these challenges is increasing as
in rural areas subsisting on less than a   personal ICT devices – such as mobile
dollar a day.                              phones or tablet PCs – are becoming
                                           more widely available. ICT, when em-
Like other sectors, African agriculture    bedded in broader stakeholder systems,
is disadvantaged owing to factors that     can bring economic development and
include:                                   growth as it can help bridge critical
                                           knowledge gaps. Mobile technology,
• under-investment in rural areas,         on the other hand, is increasingly being
                                           adopted as the technology of choice for
• inadequate access to markets and         delivery of ICT services and solutions.
  unfair market conditions,
                                           The wider adoption of ICT in agricul-
• inadequate access to advanced            ture is of strategic importance to five
  technologies,                            main stakeholder groups:

• weak infrastructure,                     • Businesses: businesses, associations,
                                             other organizations
• high production and transport costs,
                                           • Farmers: individuals; organized and
• gender asymmetry in access to assets       informal associations
  and services,
                                           • Researchers: researchers; educators
• conflicts,                                 and trainers

• HIV/AIDS,                                • Government: ministries of agricul-
                                             ture, and other relevant departments
• natural disasters,                         and agencies

• deforestation, environmental degra-      • Citizens, both as consumers and
  dation and loss of biodiversity, and       as custodians of the environment,
4




      for instance through civil society or-
      ganizations.

    In identifying the ways in which ICT
    can help agriculture, it is useful to view
    the farming life cycle as a three-stage
    process (see Figure 1):

    • Pre-cultivation: including crop se-
      lection, land selection, calendar defi-    1   Information systems
                                                     including DSS/MISS/GIS etc
      nition, access to credit, etc.

    • Crop cultivation and harvesting:           2   ICT-enabled learning
                                                     and knowledge exchange
      including land preparation and
      sowing, input management, water
      management and fertilization, pest         3   Modelling solutions

      management, etc.

    • Post-harvest: including marketing,         4   Sensory and proximity
                                                     devices
      transportation, packaging, food pro-
      cessing, etc.
                                                 5   ICT-enabled networking
                                                     solutions
    Of course, some aspects of how ICTs
    can assist with agriculture are cross-
    cutting, like the use of geographical
                                                 6   Online commerce tools
                                                     (eCommerce/mCommerce)

    information systems (GIS) for land-use
    planning, while others are broader than
    agriculture, such as their use in climate
    change adaptation. Nevertheless, this
    framework provides a useful basis for
    analysis.
                                                                                                                                     5




Figure 1       information and service needs differ through the crop lifecycle




                                                          2                    1
                                               1                                           2
                                3                                                                          1
                        2                                                 Calendar                                 2
                                                   Land selection         definition
                   1                                                                                                     5
                                                                                               Access
                              Crop selection                                                   to credit
               4                                                                                                             1
                                                             Pre Cultivation


           2                                                                                                                     2
                       Food                                                                                Land
                       processing                                                                          preparation

        1                                                                                                  and sowing
                                                                                                                                 4
                                                               ICT in
                                                           Farming Cycle
        4
                       Packaging        Post Harvest
                                                                                   Crop Cultivation
                                                                                   and Harvesting
                                                                                                           Input
                                                                                                           management            1
           2
                                                                                                                             2
               1
                              Transportation                                               Water management
                                                                                           and fertilisation


                   4                                 Marketing         Pest management
                                                                                                                       1

                            1                                                                                  4

                                           6                                               1
                                                          5                    4




Source: Deloitte
                                  landscape
                                    analysis
ICTs for
agriculture
in Africa




         2
� Common platforms for
agriculture stakeholders     p7

� Multi-stakeholder eAgri-
culture knowledge sharing
in Africa                 p7

� The role of mobile technol-
ogy in eAgriculture          p8

� Traceability               p9

� Agricultural insurance     p9

� ICT in rural development p10
                                                                                      7




Scanning the global landscape high-        the identification of trends relevant to
lights many examples of the success-       Africa. These include:
ful use of ICT in agriculture enabling




common platforms for agriculture stakeholders

An integrated information system for       maintenance is relatively low and the
agriculture stakeholders minimizes         amount of user training required can
the duplication of data and ensures        be reduced. A good example of such a
consistency, improves integrity of the     system is DrumNet, a network of sup-
data and can address a wide variety        port centres in Kenya that provides
of information needs. Although often       hands-on assistance through the deliv-
complex, systems can be customized to      ery of financial, marketing and other
ensure that the user experience is rela-   information products and services.
tively simple. Cost and time spent on




Multi-stakeholder eagriculture knowledge
sharing in africa

Multi-stakeholder research partner-        • ICTs for spatial analysis and target-
ships, including farmers, extension          ing of programmes
professionals, educators and scientists,
have many benefits. They focus research    • ICTs for better risk management
on the most relevant topics, reduce the
time needed to complete research, and      • ICTs and financial services for the
improve the efficiency and effectiveness     farmer
of the research process. Examples of ap-
plications of ICT in agricultural knowl-   • eEducation
edge sharing include:
                                           • Virtual aggregation of small stake-
                                             holders
8




    the role of mobile technology in eagriculture

    Mobile phones, GPS systems, barcode      • Test and prove models for delivering
    scanners, RFID readers and smart           agricultural information services via
    card readers are all examples of tech-     mobile phones; and
    nologies that can be used to capture,
    read and store data. However, further    • Promote a culture of knowledge
    components, such as the internet,          sharing in the mFarmer ecosystem.
    communication networks and regu-
    latory systems (to provide data secu-    The mFarmer Initiative Fund will sup-
    rity and standard systems for codes)     port projects in Sub-Saharan Africa
    are essential to complement the input    (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali,
    and output devices. One example of       Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanza-
    the role of mobile technology is the     nia, Uganda and Zambia).
    GSMA’s mAgri Programme, which
    aims to identify and fund opportuni-     Another example of mobile tech-
    ties for mobile communications in        nology in agriculture is a well-
    the agricultural value chain. For in-    established service that has been oper-
    stance, the mFarmer Initiative Fund,     ating in Ghana since 2005. The Esoko
    launched in 2011 in partnership with     Ghana Commodity Index (EGCI)
    the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation      is a rural communication platform
    and USAID, is designed to:               that publishes a cash market price
                                             index composed of data on physical
    • Stimulate the development of mobile    commodities. The index is published
      phone-enabled agriculture informa-     weekly and tracks wholesale and retail
      tion and advisory services that are    prices and aims to improve farmers’
      commercially sustainable;              incomes by building healthy mar-
                                             kets. Currently Esoko is active in ten
    • Build services that impact farmers’    countries in Africa and has a variety
      income and productivity;               of partnership agreements which in-
                                             clude public sector agricultural proj-
    • Reduce the barriers for operators to   ects, Esoko country franchises and
      launch and improve mFarmer Services;   licensed partners.
                                                                                       9




traceability

Consumer demand for quality and food       The Coopetarrazú’s processing plant
safety is placing increased emphasis on    uses leading-edge technologies for cof-
the traceability of agricultural produc-   fee drying, hulling, sorting and ship-
tion, particularly in the markets of the   ping. It also tracks hundreds of thou-
developed world. Traceability in the ag-   sands of coffee purchases, worth US$16
riculture sector involves the recording    million annually from its 2,600 mem-
of information on animals and food so      bers, during the harvest and ensures
that an item moving through a global       that purchases meet certification crite-
supply chain can be tracked from its       ria to ensure premium prices.
origin along the entire value chain.
For instance, remote tracking among        Traceability in livestock farming is also
the coffee growers of Costa Rica and       the focus of one of the detailed case
Mexico are examples of a successful        studies, so these two cases provide two
implementation in developing nations.      different views of traceability.




agricultural insurance

Agricultural insurance is becoming         • facilitating access to information
increasingly important as extreme            and services to stakeholders;
weather patterns generated by cli-
mate change are exacerbating vola-         • providing advance information
tility in food production and food           about weather and market price
prices. Crop insurance has long been         situations;
used in developed countries to deal
with weather uncertainties, but its        • providing better services and facili-
availability in Africa, particularly         tate speedy claims servicing;
to smallholder farmers, has been
extremely limited. Agricultural in-        • monitoring and tracking premium
surance also applies to livestock,           repayments;
bloodstock, forestry, aquaculture and
greenhouses. ICTs can play an im-          • ensuring a better interface between
portant role in the agricultural insur-      the insurer and the insured, particu-
ance process by:                             larly for field-based transactions;
10




     • developing specialized and afford-      • improving complaints procedures.
       able rural insurance products; and




     ict in rural development

     Multi-purpose community centres can       the local community is employed to
     be used to provide remote populations     promote and maintain those services.
     with information and communication        Services available at the CICs include
     options. In Bhutan, for example, Com-     basic and advanced computer train-
     munity Information Centres (CIC)          ing, internet access, telephone facilities,
     were established to provide services      government information and forms,
     to a scattered population, who live in    and lamination and scanning facilities.
     mountainous, forested terrain that has
     made wired internet and telephone         Broadband connectivity brings high-end
     connectivity prohibitively expensive.     services closer to the rural population
     Their objective was to provide sustain-   and helps reduce poverty. As a result, the
     able, commercially viable ICT services    travelling time and cost for villagers and
     in rural areas. The state provides the    farmers is reduced while employment
     equipment, and an individual from         opportunities are generated.
              aFrica scan
ICTs for
agriculture
in Africa




    3
                                                                                          13




While the landscape analysis high-            security related problems – mAgri
lighted global best practices and sam-
ple cases, the Africa Scan provides a      • Seeing is believing – unlocking pre-
closer look at recognized eAgriculture       cision agriculture in West African
successes in Africa.                         smallholder communities with very
                                             high-resolution imagery
The Africa Scan provides an overview
of ICT solutions in the agricultural       The reasons for success identified in
sector in Africa, identifying reasons      these examples are:
for their success and the potential for
them to be scaled up. These success fac-   • Real economic value was added
tors emerged from studying examples          either because of savings resulting
of ICT use that are described in more        from the use of ICT or an increase in
detail in the full report, such as:          revenue or profitability.

• Using ICT to bring together multiple     • The language and medium used to
  stakeholders in the Kenyan agricul-        communicate with the farmers were
  ture sector – DrumNet                      important contributing factors in the
                                             farmers’ response to the programme.
• SMS-based services developed by
  Zambia’s National Farmers’ Union         • Good conceptualization and execu-
                                             tion was achieved by including mul-
• Sissili Vala Kori – farmers’ use ICT       tiple stakeholders in win–win part-
  to share new production, processing        nerships.
  and marketing skills in Burkina Faso
                                           • Trust was built with stockists, sup-
• A mango traceability system linking        port centre operators and the gov-
  Malian smallholders and exporters          ernment by using local champions
  to global consumers                        as facilitators. This is an essential ele-
                                             ment for success in any project.
• Index-based agriculture insurance on
  agricultural inputs in Kenya – Kilimo    • Projects were often augmented by
  Salama                                     bundling many services together
                                             with the basic or original facilities to
• Using ICT to improve forest gover-         make them truly comprehensive.
  nance in Liberia – LiberFor
                                           • A government-recognized body
• Mobile technology as a “Game               used to implement a project provides
  Changer” in South Africa – MXit            the initiative with added credibility.

• Mobile technologies used by GSMA         • Where mobile phone reception and sig-
  as an initiative to alleviate food         nal coverage issues were problematic,
14




       local alternative media uses emerged     • In instances where farmers were able
       to circumvent the problem.                 to identify personally with a technol-
                                                  ogy solution they were more inclined
     • Additional faith and trust in the sys-     to adopt it and continue to use it.
       tem are created when a solution is
       developed locally.                       • In areas of low literacy and low ICT
                                                  penetration rates, use of an appro-
     • Community members find it partic-          priate medium was important to the
       ularly useful if farmers are directly      success of the venture.
       involved in training and can demon-
       strate a solution.                       • It is important to establish a long-
                                                  term interest and commitment
     • By increasing the scale at which           amongst all those involved.
       knowledge and new techniques can
       be applied, and by reducing transac-     • In the precision farming case study,
       tion costs, ICTs help to create sus-       the adoption of satellite technology
       tainable business models, based on         resulted in lower operational costs
       the private sector.                        and increased yield.
                               case studies
ICTs for
agriculture
in Africa




        4
� ICT as a potential tool
for increased traceability
of livestock            p17

� Intensified utilization
of ICT for increased irriga-
tion efficiency         p19
                                                                                        17




Here we focus in depth on two ma-           These are, first, the improved traceabil-
jor opportunities for increased use of      ity of livestock and products and, sec-
ICT identified as key areas for a rapid     ond, the increased efficiency of irriga-
increase in agricultural production.        tion of crops.




ict as a potential tool for increased
traceability of livestock

Livestock production is the most            Box 1). In this system official identi-
widespread and generally practised          fication is done by means of animal
agricultural activity on the African        identification devices as required by
continent. If, as a result of intensified   international standards. Both radio
use of ICT in improving the efficien-       frequency identification (RFID) for
cy of livestock and meat production         automated data input and a visual
in selected African countries, sig-         plastic ear tag that supports remote
nificant increases in production are        pastoral production where there is
possible at affordable cost and these       limited or no technological support,
methods are relatively easy to du-          are used. As a backup system, brand-
plicate in areas with diverse natural       ing of animals will continue. Eligible
landscapes, the potential for general       cattle are tagged as part of a specific
increased wealth creation in all parts      campaign and further tagging takes
of the continent could be enormous.         place during annual vaccination
                                            campaigns or community visit-based
The Namibian Livestock Identi-              surveillance activities. In cases where
fication and Traceability System            handling facilities are in disrepair,
(NamLITS), was studied in depth (see        mobile crush pens are used.


                                                                   Box 1 next page l
18




     Box 1

     namibia: livestock traceability systems unlock wealth along
     the value chain
     The results of the in-depth investiga-     comprehensive traceability pro-
     tion in Namibia revealed that:             gramme are relatively low com-
                                                pared to the benefits which can
     • The traceability systems em-             accrue to the livestock industry,
       ployed by the commercial farming         the respective role players in the
       community and its downstream             value chain as well as the govern-
       role players have unlocked wealth        ment of the country;
       along the entire value chain;
                                              • An enabling environment should
     • The experience gained by the             be created by the government
       commercial livestock sector can          and all other interested parties to
       serve as a valuable platform to          ensure maximum efficiency of an
       roll out traceability systems in un-     advanced traceability system;
       der-developed rural areas where
       livestock production is heavily re-    • Should international organiza-
       lied on to sustain the people;           tions involved in the provision
                                                of aid funding wish to make a
     • New, streamlined traceability sys-       contribution of note to Namibia,
       tems which have recently been            consideration should be given
       developed allow a wider spec-            to concentrating their funding ef-
       trum of functions to be included         forts on the provision and mainte-
       so that many additional services         nance of a comprehensive trace-
       can be rendered;                         ability system;

     • The     co-ordinated    extention      • Traceability systems can be rolled
       of comprehensive systems of              out in many other African coun-
       traceability can improve the lives       tries where they can be expected
       of multitudes of poor people             to bring about similar wealth cre-
       and the long-term sustainability         ation, but an enabling environ-
       of the entire livestock industry.        ment must be created first;
       This has the potential to posi-
       tively affect the economy of the       • Investment in the intensified use
       country at large;                        of ICT can offer more advantages
                                                than investment in possibly any
     • The capital and operational costs        other interventions that may be
       involved in the roll-out of such a       considered.
                                                                                         19




intensified utilization of ict for increased
irrigation efficiency

It has been demonstrated in many areas      improving the management of irriga-
of the globe that using good irrigation     tion and drainage and increasing the
techniques can increase the efficiency      efficiency of irrigated agriculture water
and profitability of crop production as     use and services.
much as a hundredfold. Efficient ir-
rigation practices provide a consistent     The plan aims to improve irrigation and
moisture supply to crops, water defi-       drainage systems and the water man-
ciencies can be overcome during pe-         agement institutional structure. The
riods of drought, more than one crop        first phase of the project has resulted in
cycle per year can be achieved and          crop yield increases of 20 per cent, with
the effective use of all production re-     drainage estimated to account for 15-
sources can be improved dramatically.       25 per cent of this increase. A further
The pressure on the diminishing water       benefit is the re-use of drainage water.
resources can also be alleviated and, as
a result, more land can be put under        A second type of intervention is
irrigation. The increased utilization of    illustrated by the Magrabi Farms area
ICT could have a positive effect on ir-     which was a green-fields operation
rigation efficiency.                        and has been developed from ac-
                                            tual desert to the 8,500 acres that
Egypt depends almost exclusively on         are now fully irrigated and under-
the Nile River for its water supply. Of     pin an export-oriented agribusiness.
this, 85 per cent is used for irrigation.   Magrabi exports produce to 38 coun-
Two separate aspects of the use of ICT      tries. Magrabi is an ideal example of
in managing irrigation are highlighted      the development of a full-scale, eco-
through the case of Egypt. The first of     nomically sustainable unit that has
these is an Integrated Water Resource       used technology in order to reach its
Management Action Plan which the            current status. They are completely
Ministry of Water Resources and Irri-       independent in terms of being able to
gation in Egypt has been implementing       conduct all the functionalities required
in response to the increasing demand        for good soil, water and multi-cropping
for water while the options for in-         management. There are fully equipped
creasing supply are limited. It is being    laboratories on the farm that form part
implemented on more than 2,000 km2          of an integrated quality control pro-
in the Nile Delta, covering the com-        gramme and the whole complex has
mand of two main canals, Mahmoudia          a fully-integrated, reticulated irriga-
and Mit Yazid. The project aims at          tion system which is managed by an
20




     irrigation engineer. All water passes           monitored. An on-site weather station,
     through filters and all bypass water is         for temperature monitoring and evapo-
     tested for purity as fertigation, i.e. appli-   ration pans to determine moisture loss,
     cation of fertilizers, is a normal practice.    is used to facilitate the correct irriga-
     Efficiency of water usage is continuously       tion scheduling.




        Box 2

        egypt: ict use increases irrigation efficiency
        In-depth investigation        in   Egypt       relatively low compared to the
        shows that:                                    large benefits expected;

        • Existing ICT systems employed              • The enabling environment which
          by some of the commercial farm-              the government and all other in-
          ing community in large-scale ir-             terested parties create to ensure
          rigated farming operations have              efficient use of irrigation water,
          increased the efficiency of water            can serve as an example to other
          use and generated larger profits;            countries;

        • The experience gained by the               • International aid organizations
          large and small-scale commercial             could make a serious contribu-
          irrigation sector can serve as a             tion to Egypt by focusing funding
          valuable platform for even more              efforts on the intensification of
          comprehensive ICT systems.                   ICT-based irrigation systems;
          Many more agrarian communi-
          ties in Egypt can be reached and           • The systems can also be rolled out
          this will contribute towards the             in many other African countries and
          improvement of living standards;             can be expected to bring about
                                                       a similar magnitude of wealth cre-
        • The intensified use of ICT can of-           ation, provided that an enabling
          fer government organizations op-             environment can be created;
          portunities to diversify their ser-
          vices to all communities involved          • Investment in the intensification
          with irrigation farming;                     of the use of ICT for the improve-
                                                       ment of crop production under
        • The capital and operational                  irrigation, can offer more advan-
          costs involved in the roll-out of a          tages than investment in most
          range of ICT-based functions are             other areas.
                           recoMMendations
ICTs for
agriculture
in Africa




       5
� Recommendations
for policy makers and
regulators           p23

� Recommendations
for donors          p26
                                                                                        23




The following recommendations aim to         • Implement interventions that would
assist policy makers, regulators and the       have a tangible outcome;
donor community to:
                                             • Develop multi-country cooperation
• Gain insight into the benefits of ICT        and best practices; and to
  led interventions in their respective
  countries or regions;                      • Prioritize interventions that would
                                               be most beneficial




recommendations for policy makers and
regulators

ReCommendATIon                        1
create partnerships with the relevant stakeholders

In many African countries, synergies         between stakeholders for identified
between the different parties in the         eAgriculture projects with targeted
agricultural value chain are not ex-         outcomes, working with established
ploited optimally. Hence, forums need        partners, such as NEPAD or CAADP.
to be set up to encourage dialogue,          These partnerships can play an invalu-
interaction and promote knowledge            able role in the research, planning,
related to use of ICT in agriculture,        problem solving, review of operations
such as the World Bank’s ICT in Agri-        and in training relevant government
culture eSourcebook. Specific partner-       officials and staff in the use of ICT in
ships should be identified and be built      agriculture.



ReCommendATIon                        2
establish an agricultural hub

Leadership, communication and creative       management and support structure
thinking are required to initiate and sus-   would enable communication between
tain eAgriculture projects that will have    private sector and government and
a significant impact. A purpose-built        drive the strategic agenda of the state.
24




     Designed to be non-bureaucratic and        opportunities in the agricultural sector.
     nimble, an agricultural hub would          These eAgriculture projects would in
     drive    agricultural   diversification,   turn stimulate commercialization, di-
     mega projects including eAgriculture       versification and job creation.
     projects, and initiate and coordinate



     ReCommendATIon                      3
     implement legislation and regulations to govern specific opportunities

     Legislation and regulations relating       such as national irrigation schemes and
     to ICTs must be revisited, to ensure       traceability programmes, may require
     that, amongst other concerns, infor-       new, strong legislation and regulation.
     mation security is protected, the cost     National legislative bodies together
     of communications infrastructure           with Ministries of Agriculture and
     (e.g. broadband) is reduced and ICT        Ministries of Communications need to
     infrastructure is accessible even from     coordinate to ensure timely enactment
     remote rural areas. Some programmes,       of laws and regulations.



     ReCommendATIon                      4
     consider adoption of traceability systems at a national level

     Traceability systems have the potential    market destination, since systems that
     to bring about an observable improve-      do not cover the whole lifecycle create
     ment in the well-being of large num-       gaps in traceability, which may be det-
     bers of people on the African continent    rimental to the industry and the con-
     as export markets can be created when      sumer. It is essential that legislation and
     traceability systems are implement-        regulations are enforced and will also
     ed correctly. Systems should address       apply to other agricultural products.
     full traceability, from first contact to
                                                                                       25




ReCommendATIon                       5
empower women in agriculture

In Africa, women perform 65 per cent        Governments need to provide incen-
of all activities within the agricultural   tives to telecommunications service
sector. Not only do these women of-         providers to expand money transfer
ten have little access to finance, but      services to rural communities as these
also they have little free time to de-      enable rural woman to have more au-
vote to their own interests or to rest      tonomy over their finances. Content
and are physically at a disadvantage.       providers need to provide health, nu-
Women in rural communities, and             trition and educational advice on eAg-
particularly those moving from sub-         riculture web pages. Active monitoring
sistence farming to small-scale farm-       of eAgriculture programmes by gov-
ing, can benefit greatly from ICT as        ernment is necessary to assess the de-
these can save time and physical effort     gree to which these programmes take
and equal access can be monitored.          the interests of women into account.



ReCommendATIon                       6
implement irrigation solutions in africa

ICT can be used to reduce water con-        has been used for a number of years in
sumption significantly using modern         Egypt with great success may still be
irrigation techniques and as a result       deemed as “new” in many other African
enhance the quality and productivity        countries, consulting with and learning
of land and eventually increase farm-       from experts and those with extensive
ers’ incomes. Since technology that         experience in ICT is recommended.



ReCommendATIon                       7
implement integrated eagriculture plans

Implementation of a comprehensive,          economies of scale, and ensure that
integrated, long-term eAgriculture          there is political and executive com-
Plan for each country should involve        mitment to eAgriculture with the nec-
all stakeholders and hence increase         essary budgetary allocation. The plans
stakeholder ownership, bring about          facilitate the design of single technol-
26




     ogy frameworks for each country into         There is also a need to strengthen Af-
     which new hardware and software              rican research and training institutes
     components, addressing different             in the agricultural and environmental
     functionality and features, could slot.      field, including those that play a role in
     Single-window services and one-stop-         monitoring climate change.
     shops naturally result from such plans.




     recommendations for donors

     ReCommendATIon                        8
     develop self-sustaining funding solutions

     Since eAgriculture ventures, par-            filled by local people and creating
     ticularly those taken up by commu-           these jobs would address the rural
     nities, must be sustainable beyond           brain drain to some small extent.
     their initial funding periods, it is         Donors should publish the fact that
     necessary that strong business mod-          a description of viable plans for ulti-
     els exist and that the community             mately making a project self-funding
     members can benefit directly. Some           is one of their funding application’s
     jobs related to eAgriculture can be          evaluation criteria.



     ReCommendATIon                        9
     Focus on community ownership

     Well-established community owner-            in decision making early in the project
     ship assists projects to survive after do-   and progressively hand over leadership
     nors move on and reduces long-term           and operation of the project to them. As
     dependency on an external champion.          community owned projects are often
     Thus, programme designers and imple-         resource-scarce, it is best to adopt ap-
     menters of community-based projects          proaches that make adequate use of the
     should include community members             existing infrastructure.
                                                                                        27




ReCommendATIon                       10
Make eagriculture technology robust and accessible

Systems are only valuable if they are       available technology devices, such as
used, but this can only occur in eAg-       mobile devices, and include alterna-
riculture projects if the end users find    tive communication options in order
the systems easy to use and the tech-       to include the largest possible num-
nology is cheap, available, reliable and    ber of end users. Voice is often a bet-
can be run off-line when necessary.         ter option than text because users are
Backup and disaster recovery plans, as      often not fully literate. Multi-purpose
well as alternative work processes that     telecentres not only allow internet and
can easily be linked into the primary       ICT access but are important centres
system, need to be implemented so           for learning, listening and stimulating
that systems are useable even if there is   ideas. Initial donor financial support
some failure of the technology. Systems     is needed until the number of users
designers and developers need to de-        reaches a critical mass.
sign system access through commonly



ReCommendATIon                       11
Build human capacity in rural communities

Rural communities urgently need ba-         classroom tuition. Donors and funders
sic education opportunities, includ-        are urged to ask for an educational
ing basic farming skills and business       use component to be made a funding
management skills. Complete reliance        eligibility requirement for all projects.
on eEducation is not recommended            A good model here is the African
in communities made up primarily of         Leadership in ICT (ALICT) compo-
smallholders or subsistence farmers         nent of the Global eSchools and Com-
but the internet can be a very valuable     munities Initiative (GeSCI), based in
resource for the teachers who provide       Nairobi, Kenya.
28




     ReCommendATIon                     12
     encourage environmental responsibility through country
     agriculture strategy maps

     Country specific agriculture strategy     assist in developing the eAgriculture
     maps, using a variety of ICT tools but    plan recommended to policy makers
     primarily imaging tools such as GIS       and regulators in Recommendation 7
     and satellite technologies, can be used   above by providing access to the neces-
     to encourage environmentally respon-      sary technology and international ex-
     sible farming as well as commercially     perts required for developing country
     astute practices. Donors are urged to     specific agriculture strategy maps.
                                                                                                  29




Further reading

Campaigne, J. and RausCh, T.
(2010) “Bundling development services with agricultural finance: the experience of
Drumnet”
Innovations in Rural and Agricultural Finance, Focus 18, Brief 14, International Food
Policy Research Institute and The World Bank
http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/focus18_14.pdf


eConomiC Commission foR afRiCa and The afRiCan union
(2009) Economic Report on Africa: Developing African Agriculture through Regional
Value Chains
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
http://www.uneca.org/era2009/ERA2009_ENG_Full.pdf


gakuRu, m., WinTeRs, k. and sTepman, f.
(2009) Inventory of Innovative Farmer Advisory Services Using ICTs
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
http://www.fara-africa.org/media/uploads/File/NSF2/RAILS/Innovative_Farmer_Advisory_Systems.pdf


koRa, g. and kassem, m.
(2010) The Application of Information and Communication Technologies in Agricultural
and Rural Development in Egypt
Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome
http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i1930e/i1930e00.pdf


Qiang, C., kuek, s., DymonD, a. and esselaR, s.
(2011) Mobile Applications for Agriculture and Rural Development
The World Bank
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INFORMATIONANDCOMMUNICATIONANDTECHNOLO-
GIES/Resources/MobileApplications_for_ARD.pdf


WoRlD Bank
(2011) ICT in Agriculture sSourcebook - Connecting Smallholders to Knowledge, Networks,
and Institutions
The World Bank, infoDev and ARD
http://www.ictinagriculture.org
     www.eTransformAfrica.org




     Publications for eTransform Africa include the Summary
     Report, Main Report which includes an overview chapter
     and summary chapters of the full reports, and the full
     reports themselves covering the following sectors and
     cross-cutting themes:
     Sectors themes:
          Agriculture
          Climate Change Adaptation
          education
          Financial Services
          modernizing Government
          Health

     Cross-cutting themes:
          Regional Trade and Integration
          ICT Competitiveness


     For a more detailed presentation on the role of ICT in agriculture in Africa,
     see the full eTransform Africa sector report:
     http://www.etransformafrica.org.
                                                                                                     Graphic design by Marie-Anne Chambonnier




eTransform aFrica
                                                                                     AFRICAN UNION

								
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