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"The Rural Information Economy and ICTs" Seminar

Michael Riggs's picture
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Hosted by FAO, Wednesday, 27 October 2010, 11:00-12:30.

Marking the launch of the 2010 Information Economy Report "ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation",  FAO’s Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension organized this special event focusing on ICT and rural development.

FAO, IFAD and UNCTAD all play a role in WSIS follow-up activities, and are active in the e-Agriculture Community. In May 2010 the three organizations worked together to create an innovative session on ICT and Rural Enterprise at the WSIS Forum, and today joined together again for this seminar.

Presentations were made by:

  • Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief, ICT Analysis Section, UNCTAD presented the 2010 Information Economy Report.
  • Michael Hamp, Senior Rural Finance Advisor and Head of the Financial Assets, Markets and Enterprise Development Unit of the Programme Management Department, IFAD presented “Enabling role of ICTs to transform smallholder farmers to entrepreneurs”.
  • Mike Robson, Plant Production and Protection Division, FAO presented “ICTs enhancing plant production at the field level”.

Their presentations can be found on the e-Agriculture SlideShare site at http://www.slideshare.net/eagriculture.

Following the presentations, a lively discussion focused on issues in recognizing the importance of ICT in rural development, sharing good practices as well as failures to improve our work, and looking for opportunities to collaborate in the future.

One active participant, Chris Wilson of Aptivate (currently based at WFP), has already blogged about the seminar. You can read his blog here.

Recently the e-Agriculture Community held two online discussion forums on ICTs and agricultural value chains (one in English, one in Spanish), a subject critical to rural enterprises. Other topics important to the rural economy, such as the role of mobile telephony in rural development, and public-private partnerships to support ICT4D have also been discussed.