Posted October 2001. This study was carried out in Eritrea by the Eritrean Ministry of Agriculture with support form FAO and DANIDA. The study's objective was to reach a better understanding of the information needs of farmers and the sources from which they access available information. The Eritrean Ministry of Agriculture plans to use this information in order to implement demand-led extension and advisory services in the country.
Posted November 2000. In June 2000, FAO organized the First Consultation on Agricultural Information Management, aimed at exploring ways of improving the capacities of decision-makers, professionals and the public to access and use information essential for achieving sustainable agricultural development and food security. A two-day expert workshop on the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in rural development and food security was one of the activities held during the Consultation. The workshop report, as well as eight of the papers discussed at the event, which brought together twenty participants from NGOs, multilateral agencies, academia and the private sector, are presented here.
Posted April 1999. If rural communities are the "first mile," then the real challenge for enhancing rural telecommunications lies with the urban-centred governments, businesses and agencies that have for so long ignored the desires of rural people to get connected to the world. The challenge is not technical or financial, but political and ideological. This Special brings together practitioners, perspectives and lessons-learned to add new understandings and knowledge for the advancement of telecommunication technologies for rural development.
Posted April 1998. Based on the FAO publication, "Management of agricultural research: a training manual", by V.N. Asopa and G. Beye (FAO, 1997). The manual, aimed at helping national trainers conduct their own courses at institute level, is based on four structural functions of management: planning, organizing, monitoring and controlling, and evaluating. Our Special, based on the manual's introductory module, provides an overview and sections on management orientation and decision making, the case method, course contents, management training, and planning and management of short executive development programmes.
Posted May 1997. SD's Agricultural Education Group has carried out an exhaustive review of agricultural education and training in developing countries. Its report - the result of two expert consultations, a survey of educational institutions worldwide, and eight regional round tables - warns that agricultural education and training have failed to adapt to environmental concerns, advances in science and technology, the changing role of women in society and the increasing marginalization of rural life.
Posted September 1996. SD's Electronic Information Systems working group and Canada's University of Guelph recently explored the potential role of Internet in linking rural people and sharing local knowledge. We publish the exhaustive final report of Guelph's Don Richardson, with its recommendation that FAO "take leadership to ensure that rural and agricultural communities link electronic 'village trails' to the information super-highway". It includes an extensive list of development-related World Wide Web sites.
Posted May 1996. Is Internet the solution to the South's information and communications needs? This Special reports the opinions of Southern journalists and NGOs, proposals for "Communications Utilities" privately run for public benefit, and UN experience in establishing computer networks in Africa. A Nigerian health worker describes what it's like "stuck in the ruts on the information superhighway", while an FAO specialist reminds us that, in many countries, "the old ways of communicating remain the most effective".