e-Agriculture Newsletter. December, 2017

NewsletterIssued on 07.09.2018
Monthly Newsletter

e-Agriculture Newsletter. December, 2017


In October 2017, e-Agriculture organized a two week learning activity on the topic of drones for agriculture and rural development. The purpose of this learning activity was to increase the appreciation of and knowledge on the use of drones in agriculture. The activity had over 720 registered participants.

During the two weeks of the learning activity participants received a daily email giving them access to new content  and links to live webinars. In this way, participants could go through the resources at their own pace and interact with the other participants through the dedicated pages on the platform. In order to cater for a wider audience, the e-Agriculture team also created a WhatsApp discussion group for this activity - which had 130 active participants. 

During the first week of the activity, participants were introduced to the topic and learned about the technology and the different ways of using the technology for agriculture and rural development such as: soil and field analysis, crop monitoring, input management, crop and livestock health, crop insurance, rural advisory services, biodiversity and conservation, land mapping, early warning and disaster risk reduction, forestry and fisheries. 

During the second week, more details were given on specific aspects such as academic research on the use of drones for land administration, challenges and successes in monitoring orchards with senseFly products, drone regulations and the use of drones in humanitarian action. The participants also had the opportunity to present their work during a participant's panel. 

Even though the activity has come to an end all resources (recordings of webinars, videos, documents, articles, news) remain available on the e-Agriculture platform, for those who missed the event and would like to learn more about the use of drones. After the event, feedback was collected among the participants and all participants would recommend the learning activity to their colleagues or peers! So stay tuned for our next activities!


The e-Agriculture Team regularly plans with partners a number of capacity development activities. These are either webinars, online learning activities, workshops and other learning approaches. 

Webinar: ZFU Ecofarmer Combo: discussing cross-sector partnerships in ICT4Ag with Mercy Corps

Join us for our next e-Agriculture webinar on cross-sector partnerships in ICT4Ag with Mercy Corps presenting the ZFU Ecofarmer Combo.

When: Wednesday 6 December 2017 at 2 PM UTC

Abstract: The ZFU Ecofarmer Combo is a bundle of services developed by Econet, the largest Mobile Network Provider in Zimbabwe, and the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, with the support of Mercy Corps.Would you like to learn more about the ZFU Ecofarmer Combo and its impact? How to develop a successful cross-sector partnership in ICT4D?Register for participation here

Recorded talk "Drones for Agriculture" by Giacomo Rambaldi from CTA

In this talk Giacomo Rambaldi from the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) presents a talk titled, “Drones for Agriculture”.

This 15-min presentation provides an introduction to the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the agricultural domain, with focus on the experience gained by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) in African countries. The presentation includes also a summary of CTA initiatives in support of the deployment of UAS for agriculture and mentions past achievements of the Centre in the domain of ICT4Ag. More information here


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

The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA)

CTA show cases Youth and ICTs for agriculture at the 6th EU-Africa Forum

The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) led a session on integrating ICT innovations into agribusiness and another entitled "ICT has a key role to play in transforming African agriculture". The first session highlighted the opportunities that ICTs can offer to young entrepreneurs. This event targeted at young farmers, service providers, farmer organization and policy makers.

The second session’s theme was on “How to integrate innovative ICT technologies into agribusinesses”. The session reviewed some of the CTAs work in engaging young ICT professionals in developing smart solutions for agriculture. More information here

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

WSIS Prizes 2018 submission opens

WSIS has announced the opening of the WSIS Prizes 2018 and they are encouraging all the stakeholders to SUBMIT their project descriptions to the WSIS Prizes contest from 11 September 2017 – 2 January 2018. The e-Agriculture team encourages eligible projects in agriculture to submit their projects for this prestigious award.

WSIS Prizes are a major highlight of the WSIS Forum every year and they recognize outstanding initiatives by governments, private sector, and civil society that leverage the contributions of ICT for the benefit our society. 

More information here

WSIS Hack Against Hunger: Submissions are Open

In the next WSIS FORUM 2018, there is going to be held a HACKATHON on Agriculture. The Hackathon is on ICTs for SDGs focusing on ending hunger will be held at the #WSIS Forum 2018.

The first ever Hackathon at WSIS Forum was held in 2017 and it focused on e-Health. All members of e-Agriculture CoP coders who are interested are invited to participate in the WSIS Hack Against End Hunger

More information here

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

New app to diagnose crop diseases, alert smallholders

The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas team won US$100,000 grant to refine a mobile application that uses artificial intelligence to diagnose crop diseases.

This new app will attempt to solve the problem of pests and diseases that be face farmers with small holder farmers hardly hit. Its estimated that every year pests and diseases costs billions of dollars to potential agricultural economy as they damage agricultural outputs such as crops, livestock and fish harvests.

More information here


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.

10 best bet innovations for adaptation in agriculture

read more

ICTs For Small-Scale Farmers: A Game Changing Approach to Climate Smart Agriculture in Latin America

read more

How technology is primed to transform farming in Rwanda

read more

Kukua: Weather Data and forecasting services for local farmers in Africa

read more

International Symposium on Farmers' access to data

read more

ICT-centric economic growth, innovation and job creation

read more

WHAT IS......Digital 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 Digital Agriculture?

Digital Agriculture is defined as the use of new and advanced technologies, integrated into one system, to enable farmers and other stakeholders within the agriculture value chain to improve food production -

Source UN Global Impact Project, More Information here


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