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Question 6 (opens 6 Mar.)

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Question 6 (opens 6 Mar.)

 Question 6: What key policy recommendations can be made to support the implementation of effective e-agriculture strategies or policies?

Mawaki Chango's picture
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Question 6

Dear all,

Now comes the time for our final question, the number 6.

What key policy recommendations can be made to support the implementation of effective e-agriculture strategies or policies?

From all what we have discussed so far and the rest of your experiences and expertise as well as lessons learned throughout, what are the key recommendations to take away? What are the key points you would advise policymakers and strategy designers and implementation facilitators to keep in mind, all of this for the purposes of ensuring good strategies or policies are effectively implementend (they translate effectively into reality)?

Please make sure you post your replies and answers by Friday night, your time. I intend to begin and finish the report during the weekend. I hope, and would appreciate, I can rely on your pertinent ideas to shape the report. Please make sure to post your answers, especially to this week questions (# 4, 5 & 6).

Thank you.

Mawaki

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Government as Orchestra Conductor

Based on the Philippine experience of the last 5 years, our key lessons are:
1. Government, together with stakeholders, crafted the national e-Agriculture strategy as a roadmap
2. Once a law was passed (Republic Act 8435), appoint a lead agency (Agricultural Training Institute) within a lead Ministry (Department of Agriculture).
3. Network and empower the stakeholders: state universities, farmers groups, private telecomm sector, businessmen, etc. to optimize resource utilization (even use of radio in remote areas)
4. Divide the work: private sector takes care of ICT infrastructure (including software) while ATI (government) focuses on content and reaching beneficiaries.
5. Government provides incentives for new players to the eFarming (advisers and consultants for new farming technologies), eTrading (buyers and growers/sellers), and eLearning (educaiton and training of farmers) infrastructure.

The government is sharing a lot of information with farmers and fisherfolk, which is driving up acceptance. Like an Orchestra Conductor, government is getting a lot of "musicians" involved and playing a symphony of agricultural growth cheeky

Here's an informative link on the Philippine experience (Powerpoint slides) based on a presentation of Ms Pam Mappala of ATI: http://www.slideshare.net/iaald/ict-initiatives-of-the-philippines-for-sustained-agricultural-development-the-eextension-program-for-agriculture-and-fisheries

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Government as Orchestra Conductor

The post is very much educative.
The experience of the Philippines may be treasure for many developing countries.
However,models/initiatives of other countries may also be considered.

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Policy Recommendations


Following the discussions we have had, the following are my recommendations to policy makers for the effective implementation of e-agriculture strategies:

1.ICT infrastructure should be developed and thus made easly accessible; in order to make the implementation of e-agriculture initiatives wide spread and impact oriented.


2.Youth in Agriculture should be largely targetted for the purposes of swift adaption of e-agriculture initiatives; as well as serve as facilitators at the grassroot for developing the capacity of the older generation on these e-agriculture initiatives.

3.A division should be craeted within the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and equiped with the needed human resource and technical infratructure to ensure that the e-agriculture initiatives are effectively implemented.

I am of the opinion that the Agriculture Extension wing of MoFA can assist in this direction but not the drivers of this process.

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Re no. 2: Youth in Agriculture

Thanks Nganwani for this list. As regards no. 2 in your list: the Philippine legislature is working on a law to adopt the Farm Business School (FBS) model of an NGO (MFI Foundation) as an alternative to university studies. The FBS aims to produce more agripreneurs (agricultural entrepreneurs) who can also work as Farm Supervisors. This is part of the educational reform going on in the country, where the 4-year secondary education curriculum will be expanded to 6-years by 2016. The FBS will run parallel to the industry-oriented post-secondary Technical Vocational Education and Training Program. One of our pressing problems is that the average age of agricultural workers/farmers is 57 years old and above, and the sector is about to experience a demographic shortage as more younger people prefer to work in factories or in service industries.

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Question#6 - e-agriculture policy implementation

Participants,
I really have enjoyed sharing in these important discussions. Here are two recommendations that may assist the process that is worth considering. They may share some similarities to other or previous posts.

One solution that has worked well is when the primary stakeholders and major benefactors are integral in the monitoring and evaluation. Interventions are more proactive as deterioration in operations may result in loss of intended benefits.

Another is to establish an independent autonomous body that monitors and evaluates initiatives such as e-agriculture. In this regard each stakeholder can have representational presence and decision making powers. This has been successful in Jamaica through commissions such as that responsible for Electoral matters.

Looking forward to your contributions and the overall outcome from our deliberations. Thank you for the opportunity to participate. Should you need further assistance in any regard, feel free to contact me; preferable by email at bradhclarke@gmail.com.

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Recommendations
  • Transparency at all steps of the process
  • Inclusiveness (multi-stakeholder approach)
  • Don’t neglect/diminish role of private sector, academia and research institutions
  • Independent oversight body
  • Hybrid of top-down and bottom up approaches
  • Put the farmer at the center
  • Realistic, well-formulated indicators
  • Domestic resource mobilisation for implementation

(looking forward to reading the report!)

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key policy recommendation

To take into consideration the existing capacity of agricultural sector beneficiries at all levels (Production,post harvest isses, processing, processing...etc) in terms of knowledge and infrastructure to make sure that the value addition by using e agriculture is evident.

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taking into account existing capacity of agricultural actors

Dear Mary


Thank you very much for your contributions. Could you please provide more details on this recommendation? How could this be done? 

Thank

Ken Lohento

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Integration & Transparency

Hello everybody,
integration and transparency are the keywords that pop up in my mind when I think about a possible recommendation for those institutions in charge of designing and implementing an effective e-agriculture strategy/policy.

One typical mistake -though it's cross-sectorial, and does not really challenges e-agriculture per se- is starting with the system as it should be, not taking into account existing initiatives being implemented at the local level for possible integration. With regards to e-agriculture I think that any strategy should start with a deep scoping exercise to determine what are past and current initaitives in the domain of ICT & Agriculture that may be integrated. It is likely that a number of scattered initiatives could have been implemented already, not necessarily employing technology: I do believe that any efforts aimed at improving information and communication processes to the agriculture stakeholders should be identified and examined. These experiences -especially failures- can help very much in defining information and communication bottlenecks as well as opportunities to be leveraged (e.g. identification of key information providers in different contexts). Moreover, from a mere technological perspective the result of such a mapping effort may suggest to create a technology bundle to integrate different local information systems rather than creating a top-down information system ex novo.

Transparency comes close and next. One good example of data transparency I like to quote is that of the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) in New York. They aggregate a number of data and make extensive use of information systems to manage their network. To better disseminate informations to their users they did not chose to develop their own application, but rather made available for free the bulk of data and meta-data necessary to developers- that were far more interested in competing with each other to create user-oriented applications. 
This may sound far from the world of Agriculture, but if we look at the work of many agricultural ministries and extension departments we may agree that their work -from a data/information/user perspective- is not that different from what MTA does. They aggregate much data with the goal of supporting at their best the efforts of the national agricultural stakeholders. As a result, making parts of these data open to developers may prove to be a win-win strategy in those contexts were there are innovation-prone environments that are interested in creating (mobile) applications to final users: my thought naturally goes to the Tech hubs that are booming in many countries, such as those composing AfriLabs.

Hope these two keywords can be good food for thought!
Thank you =)

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Key policy recommendations

Hi all,

It was an interesting discussion and hope all the important issues could be captured and senthesised. By way of key recommendations, I would like to suggest the following:

- e-agriculture readiness study (baseline study) - this needs to be the first step in the e-agri strategy formulation process where it enables us to benchmark the existing situation in the sector and set the goals and vision for the e-agri strategy. This covers a range of issues from infrastructure, content, access issues to consulting key stakeholders in terms of the visions of goals for the e-agri strategy. It also helps in looking at all the external factors including risks and assumptions.

- ensuring multistakeholder participation - as it was noted in the earlier discussion, the e-strategy development process need to involve all stakeholders and ensure their particpation during formulation including validation of the strategy and their role in the implementation; it would also be useful to make sensitisation both at grassroots and high-level policy making bodies.

- institutional framework - as it indicated from the experience of Philippines, the lead agency in terms of coordinating the implementation of the e-agri strategy is important which needs mobilising resources and building capacity to this effect.

Thanks all for the useful exchanges.

Best wishes

Abebe Chekol

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The implementation of regional e-agriculture strategies

I think that the implementation of e-agriculture strategy is more difficult to achieve than its formulation which also is more obvious than the evaluation, indeed the implementation of e-agriculture strategies implies the involvement of external stakeholders in bringing theirs funds, so Governments of ACP countries could convince more likely external stakeholders in supporting the investment needed for implementing a regional e-agriculture strategy which should break the loneliness of farmers disseminated throughout in those countries.
The map of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific show a varied agriculture landscape however the  formulation of e-agriculture strategy should be formulated in the same way such as :” to acquire the facilities of joining farmers in real time in order to push or to get vital information through their mobile phones for taking a rational decision making since the farmers are aware of those vital information: the new agriculture techniques, the agribusiness, the weather forecast and so on” or  in choosing a model like the Digital Green Project http://www.digitalgreen.org/,  because this model has shown its success of farmers’ production in India when in the same moment the food production fell in Sub-Saharan Africa and in many other ACP countries.
The ACP countries are disseminated all over the world, they do not have the same opportunities in the agriculture and livestock, nevertheless the countries which are linked on the same border share the same likelihood in agriculture and livestock, in this case, those countries could share the same formulation of a regional e-agriculture strategy for supporting their farmers to get in hurry some vital information for their input but also to sell their output coming from agriculture and livestock.
If the formulation of e-agriculture strategies have to be done by the policy makers and farmers of ACP countries, its implementation and coordination around ACP countries need the partnership of developing countries and other stakeholders because this kind of implementation need the basic ICT infrastructures and has its renewable cost for gathering agriculture information in a database or for the maintenance of the platform of e-agriculture for agribusiness.
The final goal of implementing an e-agriculture strategy is to boost agriculture and livestock in Africa Caribbean and Pacific where many countries are still living with never-ending hunger, and for this big challenge of feeding the populations of those countries as it is well expressed on the page web below http://mondediplo.com/2004/12/15fao, the ACP countries need  heavy investments  which should be funded by stakeholders motivated by working together in what I call a Marshall plan focused in enhancement of agriculture production in developing countries, in this case, the funding of the implementation of a regional e-agriculture strategy in ACP countries should be used to monitor the achievement of this Marshall plan in supporting farmers’ production in those developing countries.
The Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries have not only a different agriculture landscape but also they are not on the same level of ICT infrastructures, it means that the ACP countries of the same area could share a regional e-agriculture strategy for sustaining each other in progressing together and in fostering the farming activities and agribusiness in the same space.
In a real case, the optimal exploitation of a common ICT highway like the backbone of optic cables linking the countries of East African Community will reduce the digital divide in the favor of smallholder farmers of Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda even if these countries have not set up yet a common vision of e-agriculture policy, the ICT infrastructures are in progress, meaning that there is no linearity in making strategy, the first step should be the implementation of ICT infrastructures because the application of ICT devices could change any time and I guess that in the upcoming years, the mobile phones should be used in driving space engines transporting goods to or from farmers disseminated all over the world.

By Prof Antoine Kantiza, Master  UTICEF,-

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Closing greetings and thanks

Dear All,

As this two-week e-debate comes to end, I would like to thank you for you vibrant engagement and contributions, which has made the deiscussion facilitation the easiest part for me. So now comes the hardest... In the next few hours I will start culling your/our posts and replies to the six questions debated for reporting purposes in order to draft the debate report for CTA. From Lome, on this ninth day of March in the year 2013 at 18h18 UTC, please accept my abundant thanks and warm wishes. Have a great weekend with your loved ones, and all the best.

Mawaki 

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Thank you all for your contributions

Dear all

I would like to thank you all for your contributions which have been very enriching. Personnally, I'm taking from this discussion several things, notably, that (this is not a all summary of the discussion):

a) the existence of a strategic document on ICT in agriculture can help to bring coherence in the application on ICT in the sector, maximize the use of available resources on key priorities (Justin and others),  facilitate the learning process for all stakeholders that need to be involved, help to address access to ICT needs and priorities for key Ag stakeholders,  "help shape the formal legal development in connection to access, protection and utilization of ICTs in Agriculture at all industrial development levels" (Robert and others), the agricultural industry has become borderless (Brad), etc.

b) ICT strategy formulation can be long (case of Burkina), are not the panacea (documents are adopted sometimes but nothing happens), as described by Sylvestre; 

c) sub-sectoral e-agric strategies exist sometimes, focused on a specific domain (extension in particular, and we learned from the situation in the Philippines thanks to Emligot); market and extension have been two of the targets commented on by many in that perspective (Eugene, Aparajita, Zabedin, etc.) - I also note with pleasure the discussion about youth in agriculture by Anju, Moses and others :-) 

d) I also find interesting the discussion on stakeholders' role and the matrix suggested by Towela, Brad, Ben (who has now joined us at CTA as a colleague, congratulations again :-) and others.

In any case we need to be pragmatic, this is also what I learned.

The summary that Mawaki will produce will be shared with you so that you provide additional elements if needed. The "conclusions" of this discussion will then be presented at the ICT Observatory meeting that we are organizing in April in the Netherlands. We will keep you informed about that activity, notably by live tweeting it. We will also keep you informed about any future activities (at the WSIS Forum notably, etc.).

Thanks Mawaki for your very good facilitation. Thanks to UNECA, Minagri, EAFF, IICD and the other partners for sharing your experiences. And many many thanks to the e-agriculture team, Kristin, Andrea and in particular Michael for your strong support! Much appreciated.

I will add other resources people shared with me directly in the resource section http://www.e-agriculture.org/forumtopics/resources-0

Cheers

Ken Lohento, CTA

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RE: [e-Agriculture] Question 6 (opens 6 Mar.)

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</o:shapelayout></xml><![endif]--></head><body bgcolor=white lang=EN-US link=blue vlink=purple><div class=WordSection1><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>My thanks to Mr Chango for his facilitation and guidance during this forum. It is a critical and often underappreciated function in all our productive discussions. <o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>We at FAO are committed to working with CTA to further our understanding of the important issues around e-agriculture strategies. We look forward to the ICT Observatory in April and the WSIS Forum in May.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><div><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>With regards to all,<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>Michael <o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>Michael Riggs<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>Knowledge and Information Management Officer<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>e-Agriculture Team Leader<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>Knowledge and Capacity for Development (OEKC)<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>www.e-Agriculture.org | Twitter: mongkolroek | Skype: mongkolroek<o:p></o:p></span></p></div><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><div><div style='border:none;border-top:solid #B5C4DF 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 0cm 0cm 0cm'><p class=MsoNormal><b><span style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif"'>

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RE: [e-Agriculture] Question 6 (opens 6 Mar.)

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</o:shapelayout></xml><![endif]--></head><body bgcolor=white lang=EN-US link=blue vlink=purple><div class=WordSection1><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>My thanks to Mr Chango for his facilitation and guidance during this forum. It is a critical and often underappreciated function in all our productive discussions. <o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>We at FAO are committed to working with CTA to further our understanding of the important issues around e-agriculture strategies. We look forward to the ICT Observatory in April and the WSIS Forum in May.<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><div><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>With regards to all,<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>Michael <o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>Michael Riggs<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>Knowledge and Information Management Officer<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>e-Agriculture Team Leader<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>Knowledge and Capacity for Development (OEKC)<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'>www.e-Agriculture.org | Twitter: mongkolroek | Skype: mongkolroek<o:p></o:p></span></p></div><p class=MsoNormal><span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p><div><div style='border:none;border-top:solid #B5C4DF 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 0cm 0cm 0cm'><p class=MsoNormal><b><span style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif"'>

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Vietnamese Government’s Plan to build Vietnam learning society b


Decision 89/2013/QĐ-TTg dated on Jan 9, 2013 on approval for Society Learning Development Scheme for period 2012-2020. According to the project, 75% of rural people (almost are farmers) will be provided learning and training opportunities on science and technical knowledge for sustainable livelihood, which can meet targets through a package of solutions:

- Promote E-learning infrastructure and resources, including a professional television channel for farmer training
- Combine formal and informal education
- Strengthen community learning centers 

Looking forward to your contributions and the overall outcome from our deliberations. Thank you for the opportunity to participate. Should you need further assistance in any regard, feel free to contact me; or by email at phngan@vietnet-ict.org
 
 

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You're welcome!

Dear Mr Riggs and Ken,

You are much welcome. I enjoyed the facilitation for various reasons, not the least of which is the wealth of, as well as thirst for, knowledge among the disussants.

If any of you, all participants, wanted to get in touch with me for any reason, you are welcome to do so using my contact details below.

Warm regards,

Mawaki
-----
Dr. Mawaki Chango
Consultant
Research - Policy Advice - Project Management
Internet Governance, ICT4D & Identity Management
email: kichango@gmail.com
Cell phones:
+225 4448 7764 (Cote d'Ivoire)
+ 223 026 40 70 555 (Ghana)
+ 228 973 77779 (Togo)
Twitter: @chamawak

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