Information and Communication Technologies for Agriculture and Rural Development
Family farming remains the predominant form of agriculture in Asia and the Pacific. There are more than 570 million farms in the world of which over 500 million are family-owned. They are responsible for at least 56 percent of agricultural production. These smallholder resource-poor farmers are confronted by many challenges – the negative impact of climate change, increased frequency of natural disasters, loss of biodiversity, crude oil price hikes, rapid expansion of bioenergy development, increasing food price volatility, inefficient supply chains and others. The information needs of farmers will only increase as they have to make more and more complex decisions on the use of their land, selection of the agricultural commodities they plant, choice of markets to sell their agricultural products and other necessary decisions that impact the livelihoods of their families and society. Indeed, agriculture is becoming increasingly knowledge-intensive.