e-Agriculture Newsletter October, 2017

NewsletterIssued on 07.09.2018
Monthly Newsletter

e-Agriculture Newsletter October, 2017


Are you interested in learning about Drones or Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV) and their use in agriculture and rural development? Would you like to participate in a self-learning activity on drones? 
If so, the e-Agriculture Community of Practice is pleased to announce the upcoming e-Agriculture learning activity on the use of drones in agriculture and rural development. This self-paced learning activity will open on the e-Agriculture Platform from the 16th to the 27th of October 2017. Interested individuals are encouraged to complete the registration form here.
The purpose of the self-learning activity on drones
This self-learning activity is intended to bring an appreciation on the subject of drones to 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 several experiences on how drones are used in agriculture and rural development.
Drones are also known as ‘unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)’ and these are small aircrafts without a human pilot aboard. Drones have been applied in different aspects of agriculture, for example in pests control and land use monitoring. Agriculture is one of the fastest adopters of this technology and the following are some of the entry points in this discipline:- soil and field analysis, forest monitoring, planting, crop spraying, irrigation, plant breeding and crop health assessment and pests’ management.
It is envisaged that the use of drones will have a positive effect in farming practices and increase both farmers efficiency and in turn productivity. The following are the learning objectives:-
  • Build an appreciation of what drones are.
  • Examples on how drones have been used in agriculture
  • Build an awareness of the different use cases of drones in agriculture
  • Appreciate policy and legal issues affecting the use of drones in agriculture
The structure of the  activity
The self-learning activity will integrate 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). The learning activity will run from the 16th to the 27th of October, and is comprised of three units, (i) Unit 1: Introduction to drones and how they are applied in agriculture, (ii) Unit 2: Successes and challenges of using drones in agriculture, and (iii) Unit 3: Policy issues to consider in using drones in agriculture. 
Registration and participation
This self-learning activity is designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in drones in the agricultural domain. There are no prerequisites and no previous experience or knowledge required. Once registered participants would only need to have access to the internet and access to e-Agriculture platform.
Enroll now by completing this short registration form. Should you have any questions or are interested to share information that can be of benefit to this activity write to e-agriculture@fao.org  


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the two agencies leveraging their synergies in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao signed on September 18th in New York a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote the development of e-Agriculture policies and regulations and innovation clusters based on ICTs aimed at the development of rural communities.

 The MoU builds upon the ongoing collaboration between ITU and FAO to assist member states in adopting a strategic approach to make the best use of ICT developments for agriculture. In 2016, the two institutions jointly developed the E-agriculture Strategy Guide that suggests a framework for countries to develop their national e-agriculture strategy and master plan, while also jointly organizing the FAO-ITU e-Agriculture Solutions Forum in Bangkok in August 2016. 

The e-Agriculture Community of Practice, launched by FAO and a group of funding partners in 2007, was among the first FAO projects to promote best practices and discussions on the use of ICTs for agricultural development. Today, our online platform counts with over 12,000 members from over 170 countries and territories. Read more 

SourcesFAO News and e-Agriculture News



As discussed in the lead article of this newsletter we will have a self learning activity on drones. During the course of this activity, there will be a number of webinars and videos that willl be shown. 

An introduction to the use of drones in agriculture and rural development : programme highlights

During the 16 to the 27th October 2017, when the learning activity on drones there will be various webinars on the different aspects on drones. These include:

  • Webinar on the introduction to the learning activity on drones
  • Recorded lecture on drones, their models and opportunities for their use.
  •  Webinar on drones and forestry monitoring

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

Call for good and promising practices for the Europe and Central Asia region open until 18 October 2017

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the e-Agriculture Community of Practice (CoP) are launching a call for good and promising practices on the use of ICTs for Agriculture in the region of Europe and Central Asia.

The call aims at collecting lessons learned and recommendations of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), also called digital technologies, for agriculture initiatives in Europe and Central Asia and sharing them among the members and followers of the e-Agriculture Community of Practice and beyond.

Read more about this call



The e-Agriculture team has launched a survey on the Principles for Digital Development (PDP) and how they are applied when using ICTs for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Would you be interested in learning more about these principles, the examples of their application and the difficulties in applying them and how to overcome them? Take the survey here 

According to the "The Principles for Digital Development" website the PDPs seek to institutionalise lessons learned in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in development. These were written by and for international development donors and their implementing partners, however they can freely be used by all.



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

World Bank Group

World Bank Group, ITU and CPMI launch ‘Financial Inclusion Global Initiative’

A new global programme to advance research in digital finance and accelerate digital financial inclusion in developing countries, the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative, has been launched by the World Bank Group, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The three-year programme focuses on three different "model" developing countries – China, Egypt and Mexico – and consists of two complementary operational and knowledge work streams.

The operational work stream supports each country's national authority – countries in which digital financial inclusion can significantly improve access to financial services for a large number of people without access to financial services. Read more

The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA)

 CTA has recently published the SPORE, Number 186 which focuses on Big data and climate insurance. One of the topics covered in this issue is the role of ICT to enhance agricultural productivity, create jobs and increase incomes for young farmers, and to increase ICTs in climate smart agriculture and early warning systems.

The following articles are of interests,

Dry Chain Innovation for food security

Helping farmers manage their money

Interview  with John Crbett: The role of data in sustainable farming systems

Field Report: Bundling information and financial services


Read more

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had a number of activities in the previous month related to ICTs and Agriculture. The ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao met His Holiness Pope Francis to discuss global importance of bridging the digital divide. Then on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly meetings held the the gathering of global leaders on 'Digital Gender Equality". and finally ITU signed a MoU with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to bolster ICT innovation in Agriculture.

Details news can be read below:-

EQUALS Partners call for the empowerment of women and girls through digital technology

Launch of the WSIS Forum 2018 Open Consultation process

New Partnership between ITU and FAO to bolster ICT innovation in agriculture




In the upcoming months the following events from the community are on schedule. These include meetings, workshops and seminars.

The full collection of past, present and future events can be read here. To submit events for inclusion in the calender of events consult this guide

To include your non-commercial event on the e-Agriculture platform, we would need the following details, title, short description, location and URL of the original announcement.

Selected upcoming events 

GIS and Remote Sensing for sustainable forest monitoring and management Course 09 -13/10/2017 more info

Agri-Innovation summit Lisbon 2017  11/10/2017 - 12/10/2017 Lisbon, Portugal  more info

The Youth Ag- Summit  08/10/2017 -12/10/2017 Brussels, Belgium more info



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.

New partnership between ITU and FAO to bolster ICT innovation in agriculture

read more

Call for good and promising practices for the region of Europe and Central Asia

read more

Using Dgroups to scale up online Networking and Communication in the Rural Water Supply Network

read more

U.S. Data-Driven Farming Prize Awards $300,000 for Innovative Agricultural Solutions in Nepal

read more

Esoko, the M-Agri pioneer, will split up in two different companies for better management

read more

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017

read more

EQUALS Partners call for the empowerment of women and girls through digital technology

read more


WHAT IS......Precision Agriculture

This section will introduce each time a new technological term used in agriculture and explain what it means. Furthermore, links to some resources will be provided. To suggest new terms write to us 

What is Precision Agriculture?

Precision Agriculture (PA) is a whole-farm management approach using information technology, satellite positioning (GNSS) data, remote sensing and proximal data gathering. These technologies have the goal of optimising returns on inputs whilst potentially reducing environmental impacts - Source European Union, 2014 


Why is it important? Read more

Precision Agriculture website. 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