Question 1 (opens 22 September)

Welcome to everyone who will be joining us over the next two weeks to share  experiences, challenges, sollutions and insights on communication for development, community media and ICTs for family farming and rural development.

Welcome to our panel of subject matter experts, who will guide us through the discussion and also share their experiences with us.

My name is Alice and I will be facilitating this forum. You can reach me by private message, e-mail (alice.vanderelstraeten@fao.org) or phone: +39 06 5705 4012.

If you have technical questions about the forum (how to log-in, how to post comments,...) please write us at info@e-agriculture.org and we will help you!


Oumy Khaïry Ndiaye
Oumy Khaïry NdiayeFree lance ConsultantSenegal

Thank you Alice.

Dear colleagues, dear participants,

The just completed  (12 of September) AMARC/FAO virtual consultation on Communication for Development, Community Media and ICTs for Family Farming and Rural Development and the XIII UN Round Table on COMDEV (16-18 September) were excellent opportunities to review the current trends in COMDEV and how family farming can benefit from relevant rural communication.

I see this forum as a means to expand the reach,  collect more ideas and strengthen the network of COMDEV supporters, especially among the non COMDEV specialists.

I look forward to a very fruitful forum.



Dear all,

Happy to join what have been some very fruitful and interesting discussions thus far.  As Oumy has mentioned, the recently completed FAO-AMARC regional virtual consultations on Communication for Development, Community Media and ICTs for Family Farming and Rural Development were indeed a good opportunity to review the current trends in ComDev, with a particular focus on family farming.  The discussions on this forum have already served to collect more interesting ideas!

You may access the final reports for each of the regional consultations by clicking on the links here below:

Consultation for the Asia-Pacific Region:  http://goo.gl/y7cmOz

Consultation for the Latin America Region: http://goo.gl/R5w5Fu

Consultation for the Africa Region: http://goo.gl/FjE49u


I look forward to hearing more throughout the next few days.   



Saripalli  suryanarayana
Saripalli suryanarayanaProfessional Engineer-Administrator-40 years experience-water,irrigation and infrastructure Projects conceptulationIndia

Dear all,

Over the last 5 years,starting with the e-discussion on agriculture,i was participating and discussing on use all technologies,including UAV for monitoring the crop growth etc.This time i wish to hear more,and participate.

best farming
best farmingBest Farming KenyaKenya

With globalization taking center stage and technology being the order off the day, there is need for families to adapt the use of these tools in their farming activities. ICT can be implemented not only at the community level but also globally, so that information sharing is made easier. Members can share issues in regard to better seeds, fertilizer, products, opportunities, markets, and so on. The community can also get information quick from the agriculture control office and other institutions that are involved in farming activities.

Michael Riggs
Michael RiggsUN-APCICT/ESCAPRepublic of Korea

Hello everyone! I am happy to join in this discussion and look forward to catching up with old friends and making new contacts.

ICT can support family farmers by linking people together, so that they can communicate more efficiently and/or faster. Initially this may be simply by making phone calls.

There is a recently released video (from SciDevNet) on how mobile phones are being used by farmers in Myanmar. It's a few minutes long and gives a good introduction to many different ways this ICT is being used. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bpP5jbOEzE

In addition to farming and "business" related activities, families may use ICT for entertaiment (note the women walking to market who use a phone for music while taking a break) or sharing information about other matters aside from farming. I think these are important issues to consider when we look at how ICT impacts family farmers ... because they are not just farmers.

Braam Cronje
Braam CronjeReedisaSouth Africa

Hello everyone. The CSIR has developed an entrepreneurship course for agri-learners at an agri school. All the material and templates are running on tablets. The school has a local server connected to the internet so that when learners update to it all the changes are uploaded to Dropbox. That ensures that the project team can see what is happening.

They started with learners in the hope that they will take their learning to their families and get their families to farm better. 

The course covers business models, production planning, marketing, finances and human resources.

Hi all, glad to be part of this! I may complement Michael's thoughts here. Communications and ICTs enable people to receive and share information useful for their farming activities and for managing their activities more effectively (data, contact, finance etc). This may thus contribute to making their activities more viable. But beyond this, these modern means facilitate better human (in)formal interaction, entertainment and information access for their personal fulfilment, which I see as a strong mean to make rural areas more enjoyable, to tackle the feeling of isolation and to fight against migration to urban areas. A big part of urban advantages reaches out rural areas thanks to ICTs. As an overall, ICTs and communications - to me - "kill" all the existing incentives to run away from Farming activities. What do you think?

Interesting point Marina. Simultaneous to this forum, in the framework of its ARDYIS project, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the African Youth Foundation (AYF) is organising an e-debate on Youth sustaining family farming through ICTs. We will try to share some of the findings of this forum throughout our discussions here.


Thanks, Alice. Yes, indeed, we are trying to follow simultaneously the Youth in ICT4Ag discussions and we shall contribute in bringing our ARDYIS peers's perspectives into this more general e-Agriculture forum discussion.