e-Agriculture Newsletter No.6, 2017

NewsletterIssued on 15.11.2017
Monthly Newsletter

e-Agriculture Newsletter No.6, 2017


From April to June 2017, the e-Agriculture Community of Practice (CoP), in partnership with  the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA), collected good ad promising practices on the use of ICTs in Agriculture from members or followers of the CoP.  The purpose of the call was to collect lessons learnt and recommendations for ICT use in agricultural initiatives around the world and share them with members of the e-Agriculture CoP. Out of all the submissions for the call for good and promising practices, 15 experiences were selected for publication by a 3 member jury. The e-Agriculture Team is currently working with the participants to finalize the submissions. Three submissions (highlighted in orange) were found to be outstanding and they will be given the opportunity to talk and share their experience with our audience during a webinar. 

The selected Good and Promising Practices

As a little preview to the publication, the list of the selected good and promising practices (not by any order of preference) :

Title of submission Country
1. Harnessing climate /weather data and technological innovations in agricultural research in Kenya Kenya
2. Using ICTs to improve smallholder farmers access to agricultural inputs in Mozambique Mozambique
3. Eficiencia en riego agricola. Heramienta de recomendacion de riego para agricultura en Ruralcat Spain
4. ZFU Ecofarmer Combo Zimbabwe
5. E-Kokari Niger
6. aWhere: Location specific, timely advise to improve smallholder production Regional
7. Delivery of agricultural extension services can be improved through blending traditional ways of communication with community radio and mobile phones  Tanzania
8. Decision support tools on rice crop managment practices - Rice Crop Manager and RiceAdvice Regional
9. FarmerLink - Driving coconut smallholder productivity and resilience through digital technology Philippines
10. Driving adoption of agri-technologies through the use of ICTs.  Tanzania
11. Open Data Kit (ODK) - the new tool for bean breaders and researchers Uganda
12. Digital Green's Video Enabled Social Behavious Change Communication Model for Agricultural Extension Regional
13. Pen-side PCR - Quick diagnosis of animal infectious diseases Vietnam
14. AgroNet: Red de Informacion y Communicacion del Sector Agropecuario  Colombia
15. Improve youth agripreneurs incomes through the use of ICTs RD Congo


The e-Agriculture COP and FAO are launching a second call for good and promising practices and this time we will be focusing on practices from the region of Europe and Central Asia. Submissions can be send in English and Russian. A presentation on experience capitalization and good practices is available in English and Russian to help you with your submissions. For more detailed information on the call for good and promising practices for the region of Europe and Cental Asia, you can click here

The deadline for this regional call is the 8th of October 2017

To learn more about experience capitalization and good practices, you can also enrol in the free online course entitled, "Experience Capitalization for Continuous Learning".  In the context of the calls for good and promising practices, the e-Agriculture CoP held webinars to explain the experience capitalization and good practices in the context of ICTs. Webinars can be viewed   under the e-Agriculture webinars section


FAO held this stakeholder workshop in Rome, Italy from the 31st of July till the 4th of August 2017. The workshop took place in the framework of the FAO Digital Services in Africa project. This project focuses on the development of four applications that will help local farmers having access to agricultural services and ensuring the availability of local content.

Through this project, many family farmers in project focus areas are expected to access agricultural services. The four pilot apps are:

  • Cure and Feed your livestock
  • e-Nutrifood
  • Weather and Crop Calender
  • AgriMarketplace

The workshop was opened by the Director of CIO, Mr. Samuel Varas, and the digital strategy team which includes Mr. Cezar Alvarez Santos and Mr. James Azevedo Gorgen speaking on the welcome address. The key feature of this workshop was the address by various entities within FAO that are working on ICTs in Africa under the Agricultural Services and Digital Inclusion in Africa project.

The following FAO projects particiated in the workshop, SP5 resilience program, Communication for Development, and the Dimitra Clubs project.The software developers of these Apps had long developer sessions to map the development strategy and the way forward.The e-Agriculture Team had the opportunity to interview Mr.Cezar Alvarez Santos who shedded more light to this project and on the debate of the mobile apps for agriculture. Read the interview below in this newsletter. More information


In the previous months, the e-Agriculture team delivered a number of capacity development activities in form of webinars. We invite you to take a look at the recordings of past webinars and watch the video if you missed them.

From 16-27 October, the e-Agriculture Team and partners will organize a learning activity on the use of drones in agriculture. 

Upcoming e-Agriculture learning activity on the use of drones in agriculture 

 “An introduction to the use of drones in agriculture”

This learning activity integrates various resources in form of blogs, webinars, audio-visuals and other materials available online and/or made available by the members and followers of the e-Agriculture Community of Practice (CoP). This activity is designed to introduce anybody within the agricultural domain to the use of drones by explaining what they are, defining the common terms and components found in a drone and the sharing of several experiences on how drones are used in agriculture. 

Would you like to enroll for this activity? Please fill in this form



The following is a selection of the news and ICT activities from e-Agriculture partners. The full listing of e-Agriculture partners can be found here

Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA)









CTA has been actively involved in the use of drones in agriculture and they are partnering with private companies to bring drone technology to selected communities in Africa. 

Additionally CTA runs a discussion on drones on Dgroups, under the banner Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Agriculture (UAV4Ag). Members of this community share experiences, ask questions in issues related to UAV technologies and related software applications. Often members share events related to drones, capacity building opportuniies and resources related to to the policy framework of using UAVs for agricultural purposes.

Some news on their activities include:-


The International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) launched a report titled, ‘Fast-forward progress: Leveraging tech to achieve the Global Goals" that shares perspectives from 20 UN heads on how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are critical for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In SDG 2, assigned to FAO and IFAD, the Director General of FAO José Graziano da Silva outlines the FAO's vision to combat Poverty, Hunger and Malnutrition using Digital Services in Food and Agriculture. In essence FAO intervention is four pronged,(1) Promoting ICTs, (2) Improving the livelihoods, (3) Building the capacity of rural advisory local systems, and (4) creating development and innovation networks with government and partners.

The report presents five key findings and recommendations:

  • No one must remain offline

  • ICTs are an accelerator for innovation and change

  • ICTs must support human needs during crises

  • ICT-enabled services must reach the poorest and most marginalized

  • New, innovative and multi-stakeholder partnerships must be created to realize the SDGs and ensure a coordinated approach to leveraging ICTs to achieve the SDGs. Read more


Below we highlight a selection of news published on e-Agriculture, these include news articles on ICTs, activities in the agriculture and rural development. The full news listing can be read here.

ITU Report "Fast-forward progress: Leveraging tech to achieve the Global Goals" Showcases Role of ICTs in Accelerating SDG Achievement

read more

Update - Call for good and promising practices on the use of ICTs in agriculture

read more

Farm Fresh Gambia: Marketing local products through an e-commerce platform

read more

Plantix: The app to detect and cure your plant diseases

read more

CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture: Transforming rural livelihoods with the power of information

read more
ICT in Agriculture e-Sourcebook: Connecting Smallholders to Knowledge, Networks, and Institutions read more


The e-Agriculture Team had the opportunity to interview Mr.Cezar Alvarez Santos who shedded more light to this project and on the debate of the mobile apps for agriculture.  

"...mobile Apps alone as a tool don’t mean much, but coupled with essential information they can be a good innovation.." an Interview with Mr. Cezar Alvarez Santos


This interview was conducted with Mr. Cezar Alvarez Santos after his mission to Geneva on WSIS 2017 (see our previous newsletter on this) and he shares his post meeting views and also on mobile apps project. read more

The purpose of the e-Agriculture Newsletter is to bring to the attention of the e-Agriculture community recent news, events and achievements in the field of ICTs and agriculture. If you have any contribution, suggestion, or need assistance with receiving this newsletter, please contact us at e-agriculture@fao.org. You received this message because you are subscribed to the e-Agriculture Newsletter