E-Agriculture

Justin Chisenga

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Justin Chisenga
Justin ChisengaFood and Agriculture OrganizationItaly

Dear Muchiri,
I fully agree with you.
Considering that individuals work in organizations which also operate within a given environment, I would also add investment in building organizational capacity. Among others, organizations, especially public institutions, should have clear mandates to open up the data; have internal processes in place, including clear guidelines for staff to facilitate generation and access to data; and establish collaboration and knowledge sharing mechanism/platforms to facilitate inter-organizational collaboration and avoid duplication of efforts.

Justin Chisenga
Justin ChisengaFood and Agriculture OrganizationItaly

Indeed capacity development (CD) is extremely important. CD should take into account the capacity of the family farmers to use the ICT tools (i.e. mobile devices, apps, etc.) and to “consume” the open data or services developed from using open data; capacity of individuals (i.e. extension agents, etc.) and organizations (NGOs, community-based organizations, radio stations, extension services departments,) to develop services or products based on open data for the farmers, and of course on ensuring that an enabling environment (policies, laws, regulations, etc.) that support opening access to data, especially public data, and its re-use, is in place.

Justin Chisenga
Justin ChisengaFood and Agriculture OrganizationItaly

To add to your contribution in (c), open data will also make it easier for organizations that serve family farmers to provide enhanced services and support to the farmers. Organizations such as national and international NGOs, farmers based organizations, and other community based organizations can use ICTs to easily access open data and re-package it in formats suitable for their target farming and rural communities. Here I can also see an opportunity for community radio stations located in rural areas. Useful open data (i.e. whether data, pests, etc.) can be used to enrich the content of their radio programmes to the farming communities. Considering that most institutions that generate or gather, process and store data needed for farming purposes are located away from the farming communities, ICTs can make it easy to deliver the data to the farmers and to organizations that serve the farming communities.

Justin Chisenga
Justin ChisengaFood and Agriculture OrganizationItaly

Hi Richard,

Under the two soft (human, institutional) constraints, and especially related to institutional, I would also add enabling environment as a key constraint. For example, countries, due to several reasons including security concerns, invasion of privacy, among others, are putting restrictions on the use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and if this is not properly done it will impact negatively on the use of drones in resilience related work.

Justin

Justin Chisenga
Justin ChisengaFood and Agriculture OrganizationItaly

Dear All,

In addition, to several challenges that have been highlighted,  bureaucracy and lack of understanding among public sector employees, especially in Africa, can also be a major challenge to implementing e-strategies. Sometimes this is exhibited in form of  lack of interest, demand for extra-payment (especially if the source of funding for the initiative is external) and administrative "bottlenecks".

Regards,
Justin

Justin Chisenga
Justin ChisengaFood and Agriculture OrganizationItaly

Dear Abebe,

I agree with your observations. I hope that we will meet next week when I come to ECA.

Regards,

Justin

Justin Chisenga
Justin ChisengaFood and Agriculture OrganizationItaly

Dear Nganwani,

Thanks for the contribution.

My question is:  should funding for the formulation and implementation of the e-agricultural stategy be the responsibility of the international structures? Why do you think so?

Regards

Justin

Justin Chisenga
Justin ChisengaFood and Agriculture OrganizationItaly

Towela,
You have raised important issues (challenges), especially the over-reliance on foreign expertise resulting in most countries getting cut and paste policies and strategies; not enough attention paid to the development of capacity to provide an evidence-base for policy formulation (which I believe contributes to continued reliance on on foreign expertise); and little documentation on the policy processes in our countries, which in my view contributes to duplication of efforts and also not not learning from the policy formulation process.
Regards,
Justin

Justin Chisenga
Justin ChisengaFood and Agriculture OrganizationItaly

Hi Eugene,

I am with you on the need for adequate understanding of the concept of ICT in agriculture in ACP countries, especially among the policy makers.

Justin

Justin Chisenga
Justin ChisengaFood and Agriculture OrganizationItaly

Hi Ken,

Just a quick comment on access to e-strategies documents.

Most governments, especially in Africa, do not have policies and strategies for managing and sharing digital documents. This is one major reason why even though many may have e-strategies in place, it is difficult to lay our hands on them. The situation is made worse by the fact that only limited copies of these doucments are printed and in most cases for limited distribution. 

In my work, among others, I am also focusing on providng technical suppoort to Ministries of Agriculture to enable them develop policies and strategies for information management and knowedge exchange in a digital environment. 

Regards,

Justin