E-Agriculture

Shaun Ferris

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Shaun Ferris
Shaun FerrisCatholic Relief ServicesUnited States of America

Dear All,

In industrialised countries the average farmer has access to hundres of sites where they can access information about their market opportunities.  Producers have a host of service providers vying for their business..... and in doing so they deluge people with facts, figures and forecasts on the market.... This information wall has gone into hyper drive with the advent of ICT's.....

Why are they doing this? no brainer business thrives on information.  As has been noted by the previous writers, if you ask a farmer what they would like in terms of information they will ask for a wide range of topics.....  But what is the first thing that most farmers really want to know? 

I think its price first ! Having access to a reliable source of current price information is extremely valuable in making sales decisions and production decisions.  There is a lot more... but we don't have that yet????

Despite all the public investments in agriculture, the thriving private sector there are few emerging economy countries with really good basic price information services...  and yet we have access to a mesmerising range of technologies that could solve this issue.

As Judy has said, the Business model for supplying market information services (MIS) is a challenge, but there are many ways to make an omelette. 

I think we need to starting focusing.  I think we need to bring together clusters of smart people, from companies, banks, telecomes, Gov, civil society in some target countries, and work on using the ICT revolution to help us support some of the new ideas that are emerging in the MIS world.. 

There are already some very interesting ideas out there, i think we need to focus on integrating MIS into our investment DNA....  Where would you start????