Receiving governmental e-vouchers on mobile to buy farm inputs in remote areas.
Photo: Jörg Böthling

02.09.2019

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ICT in agriculture and food systems is still on the rise, links farmers to the market, to scientists with regard to weather and farm management practices, and provides access to money transfer and information for consumers also teaching remote areas. Our authors present two case studies of existing ICT that connect stakeholders in the food system and describe new ICT-based solutions that are currently being piloted.

In recent years, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Africa. In addition, financial services are fast-evolving thanks to ICT innovations, for example mobile money transfer used by smallholder farmers in rural areas in Kenya (M-Pesa) or Uganda (Agrinet) among others (see article Our Village – creating endogenous growth). This has strengthened the dynamics of rural economies, where poor telecommunication and road infrastructure have over decades been predominant. In addition, successful ICT depends on basic infrastructures, a conducive ICT environment, a legal framework and skills for digitising information and digitisation of agriculture.

The recent Malabo Montpellier Panel report (2019) indicates that every ten per cent of Internet penetration might contribute to a 1.35 per cent increase in GDP growth per capita in developing countries. However, the share of the GDP increase can be derived from the agricultural sector itself and will depend on the magnitude of ICT interventions to connect and strengthen the African food systems.

Requirements for digitised services

Digitised services are digital versions of learning, communication, knowledge, skills, data or information.

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