ICTs for Agriculture - A review of CTA Annual Report
The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) just published their annual report for 2016. This report focuses on the following thematic areas, (i) promoting agribusiness, (ii) ICTs for Agriculture, (iii) communication and knowledge sharing, (iv) policy engagement, (v) climate smart-mart agriculture, and (vi) developing value chains.In this news item we summarise the ICTs for Agriculture, section of this report
ICTs for Agriculture
In this section 2 of the report, CTA reports four specific articles on
Market-led, user-owned ICT4Ag-enabled Information Service (MUIIS) is a satellite data based project that supports extension and advisory services to farmers in Uganda. The project is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and is implemented by CTA in conjunction with partners. The project intends to provide timely, accurate and actionable information regarding crop management and climate risks extension and advisory services in Uganda. The key strengths of this project are:-
- Multi-stakeholder approach
- Market-led (value chain approach)
- User-owned (demand-driven)
- Farmer-to-farmer extension
- Anchored on groups and cooperatives
- Multi-tier capacity development
- Innovative use of ICTs
The report states that in the first week of March 2017, over 30,000 farmers in the MUIIS database were connected to the system and started to receive a series of weather alerts, agronomic tips, and index-based drought insurance. The expected impact of the project is to decrease the vulnerability of food farmers to climate related shocks - which includes droughts, pests and diseases. For future sustainability, it is expected farmers will be willing to pay for these services as part of the inputs to their farming.
This article focuses on the ICT Update website that was launched to be mobile friendly and works also well on other devices such as desktop computers. The new ICT update allows readers to navigate the website with ease.
CTA seeks to promote youth entrepreneurs and ICTs and in 2016 at the World Summit on the Information Society showcased some promising ICT innovations and hosted discussions to debate the involvement of young people into agriculture and value chains.
Besides the other conceptual and infrastructural support CTA has sought to focus on helping e-Agriculture start-ups in 2016. In 2016, the Pitch AgriHack had more than 152 e-Agriculture start-ups from across Africa and the Caribbean participated in a competition that saw 25 finalists being selected. Pitch AgriHack 2016 was organised by CTA, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB), with an objective to accelerate youth-led e-agriculture entrepreneurship to improve livelihoods and food security.
News from other sections of the report can be read here.