Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Focus on multi-stakeholder partnerships and develop tangible new ICT projects says forum at eIndia 2008

India, 30 Jul 2008 -- "Making e-Agriculture Work through Public Private Partnership in Asia" a panel discussion.

At eIndia today, partners in the global e-Agriculture initiative came together to continue the discussion about the role of public private partnerships (PPP) in supporting e-agriculture. (Building on the March 2008 online forum on www.e-agriculture.org.)

The lively audience-focused discussion was anchored by four experienced panelists: Amit Dasgupta, General Manager, IBM Global Services India; Manish Pandey, Deputy General Manager, Katalyst; Naimur Rahman, Director, OneWorld South Asia; Dr N T Yaduraju, National Coordinator NAIP, Indian Council of Agricultural Research; and moderated by Michael Riggs, FAO. The discussion identified the need to move from a focus on PPP to a more inclusive multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSP). The importance of MSP was further supported with examples of the important roles that could be played by stakeholders from government, the private sector, NGOs, farmers, intermediaries, and others.

While potentially complex, this form of relationship has great potential for advancing the use of ICT in support of sustainable rural development. Success depends on merging the different agendas of each stakeholder in complementary ways, finding complementary competencies, and recognizing the professional integrity and incentives of all participants.

In addition to the critical issues identified in the online forum (which are summarized in the forum policy brief, see link below), the discussion added the critical role of addressing organizational issues from the beginning of the programme, in order to assure sustainability and maximize benefits.

The importance of delivering user-focused, demand driven content was re-emphasized, as well as the need to not only continue documenting successful cases of MSP supporting e-agriculture, but to develop from these cases a comprehensive set of business models for implementation.

Finally, it was recommended that the next forum should focus on in country interventions, with clear objectives of defining pilot and proof of concept projects.

More information at:
http://www.e-agriculture.org/fileadmin/uploads/documents/eAgPPPAsiaJuly2008.pdf