Larry Lugo

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Larry Lugo
Larry LugoLa Universidad del ZuliaVenezuela

According to FAO, e-Agriculture "is an emerging field focusing on the enhancement of agricultural and rural development through improved information and communication processes. More specifically, e-Agriculture involves
the conceptualization, design, development, evaluation and application of innovative ways to
use information and communication technologies (ICT) in the rural domain, with a primary
focus on agriculture."

However, at present, developing countries have a poor technological infrastructure, and in countries like Venezuela, the deterioration of the ICT has been scored in the last five years. But worse was the decline of agriculture to the point that 85% of agricultural production in general and up to 100% of many products in particular are imported due to the inability to produce locally as a result of the destruction of the productive apparatus by the application of totalitarian ideologies and outdated policies.

This phenomenon is not unique to Venezuela. Does it has sense to speak of e-Agriculture without a minimum developed agriculture? It means, in Venezuela agriculture barely covers 15% of its needs, so agriculture is almost nonexistent or does not contribute significantly to the safety and food sovereignty of the country. 

Or, in other words, can e-Agriculture by itself, constibute to a real developmen of basic agricultural process?

Consequently, before speaking of the use of ICT to promote agricultural development must begin with the most fundamental issues:

- Investment in education to train farmers to apply the sustainable intensification of production principles to achieve a Climate Smart Agriculture.

- Investment in basic and applied research to generate knowledge locally to solve the specific problems of the regions without rely on technology and inputs of the great powers and transnational enterprises.

- Loans and grants to local agricultural production focusing on sustainable agriculture.

- Improvement of rural roads, ports, airports, postharvest technologies (sorting and cold storage) to avoid 40-60% of losses of agricultural products during the postharvest and marketing.

- Policies that favor local production and not "agriculture of ports", that only leads to corruption and destruction of the local production system.

That is the scene of Venezuela and many developing countries. So, does it has sense to think in an e-Agriculture without Agriculure? Please don't hesitate to express your valuable thoughts.

Thanks a lot for this marvelous opportunity to share our exoperience and problems globally and consider possible solutions locally.

Greetings from Venezuela.