ICT in agriculture
Farmers are the traditional innovators in agriculture, and actively engage in communication about innovation. ICT provides a new channel for this communication. Through improved communication, ICT are known to enhance or expand human networks.
The mobile phone and new processes using video are mentioned as the most popular modern ICT for farmer-to- farmer communication and innovation sharing, noting that video normally requires the involvement of an intermediary. Mobile technology is seen as having a particularly positive impact in this area, fostering networks of farmers and agribusiness, so that they can support each other. Mobile phones can become an important tool in information exchange and community networking. Mobile phones can provide poor farmers with real-time information on agricultural topics, including market price.
Video show has shown positive impact on agricultural training and productivity amongst smallholders. It is one of the effective tools for information dissemination and promoting peer-to-peer learning. A study has shown that this process is at least ten times more effective on a cost per adoption basis and seven times more likely to encourage farmers to adopt new practices compared to conventional agricultural extension systems.
ICT has allowed for innovations that bring financial services, including mobile money, to smallholder farmers. ICT facilitates knowledge generation, documentation, and sharing in support of farmers and of farmer innovations.(Source: FAO)
We are offering training to farming communities to use ICT for access to information, products marketing, business promotion and trade. We are promoting ICT in agricultural education and extension.
In partnership with ICT companies, and mobile companies, we attempt to make the services more cost effective for farming communities. The type of services that could be provided include information about seeds, fertilizer, farming practices, market intelligence, crop forecasting, weather information, training programs, call for proposal from various matching grant funds, exports and imports.