Monday, October 22, 2012

Technological Innovation: a New Path to Empower Farmers

Drought monitoring and early warning
The landscape for information communications and technology is shifting progressively within the African continent. Currently, half of the continent's population of over 1 billion, owns a mobile phone; making the continent the fastest-growing mobile market globally. This development has been driven significantly by the private sector, focusing on urban areas. Increasing access to ICT in rural areas can bridge the information gap connecting rural populations, particularly farmers, to critical information to improve skills and knowledge enhancing individual livelihoods.

In the Horn of Africa, interactive sessions using broadcast and mobile technology have been developed to create innovative platforms for rural farmers to gain relevant and timely information on market prices, expected seasonal patterns, and agriculture and environmental practices. Developing mobile technologies to monitor food security and prepare for shocks to food security is another dynamic area being developed within the region. However, actors have been faced with challenges in developing suitable mobile technologies for data collection and widening access of these technologies to the poorest of the poor.

Within the AgriKnowledge ShareFair, a forum will be created to discuss experiences of using mobile technology for Natural disaster early warning systems and monitoring and developing cash voucher systems. Opening the floor to presenters including ACTED, Oxfam and CALAP, discussions could result in new solutions to overcome the burden, challenges and to sustainably scale-up the use of mobile technologies in the region.

Do you think technology and innovation can make a difference in food and nutrition in the horn of Africa?

No comments:

Post a Comment