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What is resilience and how can ICTs help resilience programmes or projects? (28 th november)

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What is resilience and how can ICTs help resilience programmes or projects? (28 th november)

What is resilience and how can ICTs help resilience programmes or projects?

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Shukri Ahmed, Deputy

Shukri Ahmed, Deputy Strategic programme Leader, Resilience – FAO 

People who rely on farming, livestock, forests or fishing for their food and income, around one-third of the world’s population, are among the most vulnerable and affected by natural hazards and human-induced crises, from droughts, floods, earthquakes and disease epidemics to conflict, market shocks and complex protracted crises. When we talk about resilience, we are referring to the ability of people and communities to prevent the impacts disasters and crises as well as to anticipate, absorb, and recover from them in a timely, efficient and sustainable manner. This includes protecting, restoring and improving livelihoods systems in the face of threats that impact agriculture, nutrition, food security and food safety. 

Interventions by FAO, as a specialized technical agency, and other humanitarian and development organizations that strengthen resilience cover a wide scope of sectors and approaches at individual, community and institutional levels. Some of these interventions focus on a specific aspect of building resilience, for example floods or animal diseases. FAO colleagues from different technical divisions will share their experiences throughout this online forum. 

The wide scope of interventions in the field of resilience could benefit significantly from more interlinkages. Increased coordination and increased exchange of experiences will be necessary to tackle these global problems in a more integrated way. 

This forum offers us the opportunity to look into different experiences on the use of ICTs for resilience. Indeed, we see that ICTs play a key role in our resilience building programmes and projects. Early warning systems, timely availability of agro-inputs using e-vouchers, credit supply by mobile money transactions, mobile applications to signal animal disease outbreaks and centralized information centers to handle pest control data are all examples of how ICTs are valuable in supporting our collective work to build the resilience of the most vulnerable and at risk. 

Interesting initiatives such as Abalobi, developing applications to empower fishermen and that are in line with the Small Scale Fisheries Voluntary Guidelines is a good example of ICTs for development working in the context of global policies and guidelines to increase efficiency. Other examples include the World Bank’s CAPI (computer assisted Personal Interviews) technology developed to assist governments, statistical offices and non-governmental organizations in conducting complex surveys with dynamic structures using tablet devices. 

This forum is an opportunity to share information and capitalize on our experiences, think about how different systems and tools can be linked, and to better understand how ICTs can better support our collective endeavor in building/strengthening resilience. 

I am looking forward to reading your thoughts about the topic, learning from your experiences, sharing our knowledge, and reflecting on next steps, including framing recommendations on the use of ICTs for resilience for decision and policy makers.

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Thank you

Thank you Mr. Ahmed for opening our forum and for introducing the topic of the online discussion.

The e-Agriculture Team is also looking forward to discuss with the Community of Practice this important topic. Would you have any questions we remain available to help. Send us private messages through the platform or write to info@e-agriculture.org. We hope to read many of you soon! 

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Thank You

Hi Shukri Ahmed, Deputy ,

Thanks alot for this powerful Instruduction on How ICT can Help Resilience Project or Program. I beleive this forum will help us to classify type of ICT Services and tools being provided to enhance agricultural development. I've Just realized  that I do many ICT stuff without classifying them............. hoping to learn more during this forum.

Thanks

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Réponse Q.1

Réponse Q.1: a. Qu'est-ce que la résilience et comment les TIC peuvent-elles aider les programmes ou projets de résilience?

Pour aborder cette question de la "resilience" mot utilisé dans plusieurs contextes économiques, financiers, climatiques, et psychologiques...la résilience est comprise comme " la capacité d'adapatation et/ou de résisiter face à un choc" qui peut être intrinsèque ou extrinsèque". Cette capacité permet à l'élément en jeu de pouvoir prendre une nouvelle forme pour mieux faire face ou prendre un état initial après le choc.

Et, comment les TIC peuvent -elles aider les programmes ou de résilience, ...ils peuvent aider de plusieurs manière:

1.  Dans la prévention par la collecte, l'analyse et le traintement des données , lesquelles permettront la prise de décision " résilience préventive ou adaptation préventive ou pro active"

2. Par les Alertes Rapides et Précoces diffusées au travers des messageries, des flux RSS...

3. Par la réponse directe au choc " Réponse à un choc " c'est la résilience réactive.

 

 

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Traduction - Translation

Merci Aimé pour votre contribution! Pour tout les participants - l'équipe e-Agriculture va essayer d'assurer une traduction des contributions en français ou en espagnol vers l'anglais durant le forum. Au cas ou il y aura trop de contributions nous allons faire un petit résumé en anglais. Désolé pour les possibles erreurs car nous essayons de faciliter rapidement!

Dear participants. The e-Agriculture team will provide translation of the French and Spanish posts to English to facilitate the participation of people in different regions. If to many contributions come in - we will translate a summary. Sorry for possible mistakes - we try to react and translate quickly! 

Post from Aimé Kazika - Democratic Republic of Congo

Answer Q.1: a. What is resilience and how can ICTs help resilience programs or projects?

To address the issue of "resilience", a word used in several economic, financial, climate, and psychological contexts ... Resilience is understood as "the ability to adapt and / or resist to a shock" that may be intrinsic or extrinsic. This ability allows one to take a new shape to better cope or resume an initial state after a shock.

And, how can ICTs help programs or projects on resilience, ... they can help in several ways

1. In prevention through the collection, analysis and training of data, which will enable decision-making "preventive resilience or preventive or proactive adaptation"

2. By the Rapid and Early Alerts distributed through messages, RSS feeds ...

3. By the direct response to the shock "Response to a shock" - this is the reactive resilience

 

 

 

 

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La réslience économique en agriculture

Merci Mr Ahmed et merci Mrs Alice d'ouvrir les débats. Si la résilience économique en agriculture est la capacité de revenir vers la croissance après un coup d'arrêt  brutal et/ou durable, il est évident que  l'usage des TIC dans certains domaines agricoles participe grandement à la résilience de ce secteur. En effet, si nous prenons l'exemple de l'accessibilité en intrants agricoles au niveau des agriculteurs dans les pays africains (pour ne parler que de ce que je pense connaïtre), l'utilisation des TIC dans le cadre de l'utilisation des vouchers électroniques ou à lecture électronique, permet d'avoir accès à des intrants de qualité, auprès du réseau de distribution du secteur privé sans provoquer de distorsion commerciale sur le marché et tout en assurant la traçabilité des transactions commerciales. A ce titre on peut bien parler de résilience dans la mesure ou de nombreux programmes étatiques de "promotion des intrants agricoles" se sont soldés par des échecs et dans la mesure où le manque de traçabilité et de "vérité des prix" entraînent plutôt les agriculteurs vers une baisse de leur profitabilité. Par contre, dans les programmes d'accessibilité et de subvention des intrants utilisants les TIC comme les vouchers à lecture électronique et les plateformes informatiques de traçabilité, les agriculteurs ont pu améliorer très significativement leurs revenus grâce à l'utilisation d'intrants de qualité, au juste prix, disponibles au bon moment tout en ayant accès aux conseil agricole (étatique ou privé) afin de les utiliser au mieux. Ils ont donc repris le chemin de la croissance après des années et des années d'immobilisme, voir de régression économique.

 

 

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Translation post Joel Le Turioner - AfricAgriConsult

Thank you Mr Ahmed and Mrs Alice for opening the debate. While economic resilience in agriculture is the ability to return to growth after a sudden and / or sustained downturn, it is clear that the use of ICTs in some agricultural areas plays a major role in the resilience of this sector. Indeed, if we take the example of the accessibility of agricultural inputs at the level of farmers in African countries (to speak only of what I think I know), the use of ICTs in the use of Electronic vouchers or electronic reading, provides access to quality inputs to the private sector distribution network without causing market distortion and ensuring the traceability of commercial transactions. As such, one can speak of resilience to the extent that many state programs of "promotion of agricultural inputs" have failed and to the extent that the lack of traceability and "price truth" turn the farmers towards a decline in their profitability. On the other hand, in accessibility and subsidy programs for inputs using ICTs such as electronic vouchers and computerized traceability platforms, farmers were able to significantly improve their incomes through the use of quality inputs, at the right price, available at the right time while having access to agricultural advice (state or private) in order to make the best use of them. They have therefore resumed the path of growth after years and years of stagnation, see economic regression.

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ICT for Resilience - Social and Economic empowerment

Today the overall population's life style and expectations are almost connected with luxury cars, shopping malls, communication tools with extreme comforts. But, we are forgetting the class of population who is bringing food on our table, who is fighting against all odds for producing meals for us.

We have to look not into only improving agriculture but their personal life too in all dimensions. We have to empower the farmers with different aspects like material, emotional support, education, health and soical inclusion. We have to put energy to their life in such a way that they will work on the farms with happy mood, enthusiasm and love. They should be given an awareness and feeling that they are the only class of people who feeds the whole world. The building up of confidence among them will be automatically a positive driving factor in their routine work.

In a simple language, resilience means to energise...to refresh...to blossom the farmers from inside out from person, family and farms. ICT role is quite vital and crucial in different farm activities , family welfare and overall life style. ICT for information, education, entertainment, controlling, monitoring, communication, savings, health care of man-animal-machine....etc. There is a big list of proven ICT technologies which are already beiing used by urban and industries but with some imporvisations can be used for solving the problems faced by the farmers. There is a need to build an appropriate ICT by understanding the problems of the farmers from their perspective. There is a need to understand the challenges in the implementation. 

Once the real life of the farmers is understood, the list of ICTs and innovations which can be used to empower the farmers will be surely an unending matter. There are different proven applications like ICT for dairy farms, Nano Ganesh for controlling and monitoring irrigation, different videos, ERP platforms, data-cloud services etc. about which ample material has been already published across the web. But, the need is to scale-up the activities for deeper penatration of ICTs beyond pilot projects.

Hope, with these primary inputs, forum is gearing up...! My best wishes to all participants who are keen to work for the benefit of the farmers....!

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ICT for Resilience - Social and Economic empowerment

In addition to what Pietro said on the use of ICTs through e-Vouchers (without causing market distortion) and ensuring the traceability of commercial transactions, improving resilience should also been seen as the potential of providing smallholder farmers with the flexibility of choosing the right moment to purchase inputs. This is particularly valid in Mozambique.
Smallholder farmers need to really be able to decide “what, when and how” to purchase inputs, produce and market their products. ICT can and must provide this flexibility.
 

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What is resilience and how can ICTs help resilience programmes o

Thank you all for your contributions, to add on to the discussion...in my own view resilience implies that communities are able to withstand different challenges affecting agriculture. While conditions that are affecting agricultural activities are due to a number of factors, agriculture in Africa is threatened by environmental, humanitarian, economic and political factors that inhibit the investment and productivity in the sector. How can we keep farmers on the ground? how can we make them offset these challenges (shock )? - built a form of resilience, able to stay on the land.

A number of interventions have been initiated over the years, however ICTs have outlived their predecessor (s)  -in terms of comparative innovations - for example electricity has not penetrated to all parts of the world. It is commonly agreed that the use of ICTs in agriculture are poised to improve and offset challenges bedeviling African agriculture (as well as other parts of the world) - in areas such as land management, weather forecasting, early warning systems, input support schemes, cash distribution and market information systems. Examples specific to each and some of these areas have been alluded to by the previous contributors to this forum.

My specific contribution goes to the adoption of ICTs with regards to resilience in disaster areas, conflict zones and inaccessible areas. ICTs have penetrated to most humans that any other form of innovation. This has made the adoption of ICTs in resilence projects within regards to supporting communities in accessible areas have been useful, examples are seen in SWALIM, in Somalia.... In most countries the mobile telephony has been the backbone of reaching out to cut off agricultural communities.It will be also interesting to get views of other on protracted crisis areas....If well used ICTs can be a backbone infrastructure for early warning systems i.e in the case of climate and weather related disatsers. They can also be used with regards with conflict to help set up on-demand services for isolated farmers. The potential is great.....

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SWALIM

For those who are not familiar with SWALIM. I would like to give more information: FAO Somalia project on Water and Land Information Management – SWALIM – is a breakthrough in mobile data gathering, remote monitoring and dynamic mapping. 

The ICT tools developed by FAO Somalia Water and Land Information Management System (SWALIM) have helped vulnerable Somali communities along the Juba and Shabelle rivers to prepare for and respond to floods in a timely manner. Despite the destruction of infrastructure, the private sector led communication companies supported the initiative and provided continuous information supply to vulnerable farmers. The cost of sharing information was very minimal and this makes the technology affordable and transferable to other parts of the world with similar context.” Hussein Gadain

Among the new features on the SWALIM web site are the updated Flood Risk and Response Management Information System (FRRMIS), and the dynamic “Live Map” platform, which presents complex data sets on an easy-to-understand map interface. The Live Map system is currently being expanded to include data on soils and land degradation, infrastructure interventions and other important information for decision makers.

In anticipation of the effects of heavy El Niño rains in late 2015, SWALIM developed an SMS-based mobile phone application to capture information about impending flood situations and to warn vulnerable communities along the Juba and Shabelle rivers. This system, known as FRISC/Digniin (from the Somali word for “warning”), was also used to alert fishing vessels and coastal communities about two cyclones that swept across thenorthern coast of Puntland in December, saving lives and averting severe property damage.

The FRISK/Digniin system is now being adapted and expanded to gather rainfall data throughout Somaliland and Puntland, as well as the central and southern areas of the country. The rainfall data, like the river level information, is being fed directly into the on-line FRRMIS system to provide near-real-time updates on potential floods and inundations.

 

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How ICTs can help farmers resilience

Farmers, wholesalers, retailers, agro-processors, inputs suppliers, and traders are challenged severally by limited access to reliable and timely information. Providing access to modern ICT facilities can help farmers and value chain actors overcome information isolation and improve their access to markets and essential public services, such as timely and high-quality information on weather, crop conditions, and market prices as well as technical advice on, say, improved technologies and techniques. Building or creating techno hubs in community centers in rural villages can be extremely helpful to farmers getting familiair with ICTs capabilities. I have been instrumental building a 'knowledge village center' in Hansapur, Nepal and I have seen that exposing farmers to low cost technologies helps them to discuss options and experiment with new forms of communications, capturing data, use of satelite data helping them to make informed decisions. 

 

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How ICTs can help farmers resilience

 

I do conquer with daanboom on both the definition and how ICT can better be used to assist farmers.

In addition most smallholders in Tanzania lack secure tenure for their farms which is one most important asset to  them. This is due to expenses in obtaining CCRO- certificate of customary rights of occupancy , contributed to by professional human resource and technology used. Mobile technology can be used instead and since the mobiles applications are easy to use by even secondary school students , participatory mapping will reduce the cost and fasten the process. 

Mobile , drones and satellite imagery can be used in  collecting data and analysis of their of be used to provide virtual markets , farm monitoring and fertilization advice. Successful cases such as Mobile Application for secute tenure  and AIRINOV can be made available through social entrepreneurs working with farmers associations to ensure sustainability of service.

I founded Agrinfo social enterprise to solely focus on ICTs for agriculture that solves smallholders challenges.  We see data as a way of making linkages within players in agriculture value chain.

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ICTs transfer information and value.

"ICT" for most people equates to the transfer of information.  To further inform and frame our continued discussions we should also equate ICT as the transfer of value such as e-vouchers and digital payments/finance.  Digital payments/finance have saturated the urban areas and mobile financial service providers (MFSPs) are looking for strategies and partners for rolling out in rural areas.  As digital payments/finance & e-voucher channels are created in rural areas those same channels can be used for the transfer of value to help farmers and others withstand and recover from shocks.   

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How can ICTs help Resilience

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; and any such capacity, necessitates the need to have information, the need to communicate the information to those who need that information and lastly available technologies to make that happen. In my work with the farmers in Asia and Africa, the common thread that I have found everywhere is, if there is anything farmers are always worried about is the shock of climate change and inadequate market access.  Although these are the symptoms, and there are many causative factors lying underneath these symptoms, but it is undoubtedly the most omnipresent pain-point of any farming community, be it commercial growers such as coffee farmers in Vietnam or smallholder subsistence farmers in Africa.

However, it is also important to consider the human side of ICT. Technology in itself neither creates nor solves any human problem; it is how we use the technology that matters. This why it has been widely observed that technology solutions often fails to get traction and scale up, after initial success with a small group of users. So in my opinion, technology should be designed for the human not otherwise. Interestingly Human Centric Design approach can help much in this area and increasingly technology solutions providers are adopting this.

Hence, according to me, in order to build resilience in programs, projects and most importantly in communities, one need to work backwards, taking the pain-point as beginning and reverse-engineer the solution in a step by step iterative and collaborative process rather than create a solution first (with own perception or just because it was a brilliant idea) and then seeks out whether the solution can help solving a particular problem. Hence, having an immersive experience of the use cases and life processes of the particular project, program or community is very important for the ICT solution architects.

Secondly, the robustness and resilience of the technology itself (contextually) has also to be kept in mind. For example, if a mobile technology based solution for natural disaster information and management depends heavily on network capacity (data speed) it may not work at all when natural disaster happens, since many of the mobile towers would be dysfunctional, resulting in inadequate data or no data at all. However, if basic telephony such as voice or SMS is used, it might still work with less functional infrastructure support. Similarly many market information system looks only at price discovery (market price alert) by farmers without considering the information need of other actors such as aggregators, wholesalers and logistic service providers. In my personal experience with CABI’s Direct2Farm project (www.direct2farm.org), I realized that although we made it possible for the farmers to know about the various price points of agriculture commodities in the market, this itself did not guarantee that the farmers produce will be sold at that price because of various other factors in the value chain. Hence, at the end, farmers would know the market price, but are not able to derive any economic benefit from this knowledge. 

In summary, its not ICT/s alone, but smart and contextual use of ICT/s that helps in building resilience.  

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Robustness and resilience and ICTs

ICTs can be a support to resilience, but need to be robust and resilient themselves. This is why it is crucial that proper infrastructure are put in place to be able to resist in case of disaster and crises as ICTs will enable to be in contact, send information, have an overview of the situation. Government should prepare the enabling environment to enable resilience. 

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Thank you for your contributions - this question remains opened

Thank you all for your contributions so far. Tomorrow we will open a second question in the discussion - but this question remains opened and you can still contribute to this question during the whole period of the forum. We remain available for any question you might have. 

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type of assistance provided

what kind of assistance provided to the farmers by fao, financially or technologically or else. The discussion in this forum will leads to any kind of assistance to farmers. In india particularly in south india the farmers are only in small scale and many of them not in a position to use the latest machinary due to their finance constraints.Will they able to have the fao ict.in such case will the fao will be helpful to them.

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What is resilience and how can ICTs help resilience programmes o

Definitions of "resilience" tend to focus on the ability to recover after a negative experience. For example, Wikipedia states:

"Resilience is generally thought of as a "positive adaptation" after a stressful or adverse situation online".

However what such defininitions don't incorporate in their interpretation is the background to the "positive adaptation" - the measures, inputs, decisions, preparations etc that created the ability to have the "positive adaptation", and I think this is where the matter of "resilience" and its relevance to ICT, generally and in the context of e-agriculture, comes into play.

A number of the contributions here touch on this, eg:

1. Mr Ahmed's "When we talk about resilience, we are referring to the ability of people and communities to prevent the impacts disasters and crises as well as to anticipate, absorb, and recover from them in a timely, efficient and sustainable manner."

2. Joel Le Turioner - AfricAgriConsult / Pietro's translation "in accessibility and subsidy programs for inputs using ICTs such as electronic vouchers and computerized traceability platforms, farmers were able to significantly improve their incomes through the use of quality inputs, at the right price, available at the right time while having access to agricultural advice (state or private) in order to make the best use of them."

So it is essentially the specific types of preparation in various ways that enabled the ""positive adaptation after a stressful or adverse situation" that should be included in the answer to this question.  

Especially if we consider the truth "Prevention is better than Cure", avoidance of the "stressful or adverse situation", clearly a better option than experience of and positive recovery from the "stressful or adverse situation" - can also be included in the understanding and application of the concept of Resilience vis-a-vis application of ICT for resilience programmes.

One of the greatest examples of Resilience in Nature is of course Metamorphosis, defined in Wikipedia as "a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's body structure through cell growth and differentiation."

A number of Futurists and Evolution Biologists, for example Elisabet Sahtouris, touch on the process of Metamorphosis to explain how Humanity can progress past pain points into transformed and evolved positions. http://www.sahtouris.com/#5_3,0,,1

In as much as the increasing interconnectivity, leading to the improvement of access to necessary resources, between and among the imaginal cells in the caterpillar enables it to withstand the transition challenges and pain points to become the butterfly, so too will the interconnectivity between the relevant elements, inputs and interventions in all areas including agri-relevant informations (weather etc), agri-resource access and transparent pricing and marketplace access, contribute to ICT enabling Resilience.  

I think the next big phase of ICT enabling resilience will thus emerge with the wider adoption and greater application of P2P (Peer 2 Peer) solutions, clearly the most effective maximiser of interconnectivity points, in the areas of Finance and Digital Inclusion, and this is what we're focusing on.

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Understanding Resilience before ICT Interventions

There are two aspects to understanding resilience that we need to resolve before ICT-based intervention.

First, and picking up from Theo’s point, is how we define resilience.  In the contributions and wider definitions we can see a tension between short-term stability and longer-term change.

Which resilience do we want for farmers.  Is it the stability of continuity and recovery in the face of short-term shocks?  Or is it the change of adaptation and even transformation in the face of longer-term trends?

If we don’t include the latter, there’s a danger that resilience means business-as-usual e.g. poor agricultural communities staying in a resiliently poor state – of using ICTs to making farmer lives just stay the same.

Second, we haven’t really talked yet about how we conceive resilience.  This has been a big gap in putting resilience into practice.  Unless we have some framework or model of resilience, then we can’t understand how to target, design or evaluate ICT interventions in agriculture.

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ICT and resilience to livestock disease threats

Resilience of livelihoods and communities to livestock disease threats is essential to break out the poverty cycle and improve food security and nutrition. There is no resilience package per se for animal health at FAO but many animal health projects actually boost resilience of livelihoods and communities. These inputs can be seen from different perspectives, including:

 

  •     the work that FAO is doing on avian influenza and other infectious threats of animal origin is a good example of synergies between capacity development and resilience building for the wellbeing of the vulnerable populations;
  •     all the FAO animal health projects in the field particularly in pastoral communities that are prone to natural disasters are designed to improve their resilience to drought for instance.
  •     integrated approaches including strategic mass vaccination associated with other control measures such as intensified surveillance to reduce the incidence of disease can significantly contribute to building resilience of livelihoods and communities. A good example is the vaccination programme against the deadly disease called Peste des Petits Ruminants in Somalia, Kenya and other countries in Africa
  •     there is also evidence that bringing veterinary services to remote areas leads to better nutrition and resilience for pastoralist households.
  •     when animal disease outbreaks are detected quickly, communities can respond faster, curb epidemics, and save lives. This contributes to building resilient animal health systems.

 

IT tools can highly contribute to the abovementioned activities and approaches for livestock health that support resilience of livelihoods and communities. Some already do it. IT tools can be animal disease platforms for early disease warning, such as the FAO global EMPRES-i platform. They can also be national or regional platforms. Some mobile apps can help capture the data to be transferred to the information platform. They can also be IT tools to be used for fieldwork, especially to collect information (even pictures) on sites, animals, collected samples during surveillance of animal diseases. These tools ensure standardization of surveillance data, improved data analysis, quality check of these data and traceability. There is a high degree of flexibility on the location and data access to servers for these data. They can also be standardised assessment tools, with their mobile app for easy application and portal to enable data to be stored, compiled and analysed, such as the FAO Laboratory Mapping Tool.

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A conceptual framework to link nutrition, agriculture and ICT.

At the risk of appearing a trifle pompous,  I'd like to sketch a holistic cenceptual framework in which ICT could be integrated into agriculture when suitable.

 

It will be generally agreed that our fundamental need for nutrition creates the need for agriculture as a means of satisfying the former.

 

Later in our social evolution, when division of labour was established, bartering food for goods and some services became common. Still later, bartering exchange was replaced by food and money changing hands. In both instances, it remains an exchange of values, though not always equitable.

 

When we emphasise introduction of ICT mainly to enhance the resilience of trade/monetary aspect of the transaction I cannot help feeling that we are doing more for the intermediaries, i.e., various buyers and sellers in the middle more than for the actual food producers and end.users.

 

True, they serve a certain function in a food system, but I think the food producers and the end-users have logical priority over them.

 

I do not know to what extent its suitability has been ascertained before ICT has been proposed as an adjunct to resilient agriculture.

 

Unless there is an adequate transport, storage and equitable sales facilities, ICT could make little contribution to agricultural resilieince.

 

Until now, we have neglected to examine how much our past activities both within and without  agriculture have contributed to increase the magnitude of events that threaten   a smooth practise of agriculture and animal husbandry. I need not mention events like the Disaster around Aral sea which nothing short of a miracle could mitigate.

 

Therefore, I suggest that we concentrate our efforts more to ascertaining how we could use ICT in identifying future potential threats to agriculture, and then disseminating information on the best possible means of mitigating them and replacing resilience-threatening methods by  more rational approaches.

 

Once this crucial step has been taken, we can ascertain how it may be used to help both end-users i.e., actual eaters of meals, and food producers, and the intermediaries.

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Resilience of a system is its ability to recuperate quickly from the damages caused by a disaster. There are several ways in which people in the field cope with the disasters locally and try to limit the damages of the disaster by adopting various techniques. Documentation of several such practices and technologies and its dissemination through online platforms can prove to be very beneficial. TECA (FAO) is one such ICT medium which documents and shares several successful practices and technologies which have helped in improving resilience. Examples of several succesful implementations are given below:

  1. Improving farmers’ resilience and income diversification in flood and typhoon prone areas through backyard Tilapia farming, Philippines

  2. Enhancing climate resilience in mountainous regions through coffee intercropping for forest enrichment, Philippines

  3. Enhancing climate resilience through cultivation of pomelo for forest enrichment, Philippines

  4. Reducing natural hazard impacts on bananas: integrated practices, Haiti

  5. Enhancing drought resistance through guinea grass mulching, Jamaica

Many other technologies and practices on a wide range of agricultural topics are available at www.teca.fao.org

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Understanding of Resilience and ICTs' contribution in R.project

Dear all, I read various posts and I have a wide perspective on what resilience could be. For my own perspective, At the level of smallholder agriculture, resilience can be understood as an aptitude of smallholders farmers to deal with environmental (the surrounding environment of their farm, combining physical, institutional and temporal) constraints in such a way to assure their function which could be of subsistence primarily and commercial purposes. ICT in this perspective, can trigger the development of Technical innovations and organizationnal ones. Technical innovations is linked directly to production systems, while trying to achieve the so called "precision agriculture", providing the exact input at the time needed to improve productivity. The difficulty therefore is the adaptability (practical use, affordability, availability, etc.) of such innovations to rural populations. ICT Technical innovations in resilience project may help in shifting producing techniques, therefore focused in agriculture advice delivery and involving farmers in the co-design of new production systems through ICT platforms. The organizational input of ICT in resilience could be at the market level, while technical contribution seems to be limited by adoptability. Using ICT can help to stabilize markets in some case of assymetry of information by providing producers on current prices. Programs can use ICT to help local farmers capacity building by promoting a local community of ICT users, developping a latform of exhange within rural communities. 

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Using ICT to increase resilience

Resilience in agriculture systems requires the ability to respond to changes in market and climate. ICT enables scientists to develop models based on real time data along with GIS information to help in decision planning. The challenge is to make these models more resilient by capturing data from remote sensors to enable machine learning. However, I don't think this needs to involve an expensive array of high tech remote sensors, which would exclude a large proportion of farmers. I think we can use producers/growers on the ground to feed back current conditions which can be used to validate models and or satellite imagery.

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Using ICT to curtail countrerfeit farm inputs

In most african countries and in particular Kenya, Farmers have suffered serious losses due to use of counterfeit herbicides, seeds and other inputs. Efforts have been put in place by government agencies to put up an sms coding system  to help farmers detect and identify the source, Quality of farm input they purchase. Thus traceability of the inputs up to the manufacturing level. TGHis has enabled farmers spring up from low yields to super production.However, uptake of the sms product has been quite low doue to poor communication to the target populace.

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Enfocado en lo que varios de

Enfocado en lo que varios de nuestros participantes en el foro relacionado a lo que significa resilencia lo cual se  ha mencionado solo quisiera aportar dando un ejemplo de como las TIC ayudan a desarrollar la capacidad de resilencia antes los embates de la naturaleza. Recién tuvimos la vista de un amigo no muy desaedo el Huracán Otto, quien toco las costa de nuestros País. Gracias a las TIC ya se sabía la ruta que llevaba el Huracán y con anticipación se conocía donde exactamente iba a toca tierra, como realmente sucedió, dando con esto tiempo a que el gobierno tomará las prevenciones necesarias para evacuar comunidades enteras, salvando con ello muchas vidas. Igualmente hubo un día de la semana donde habia multi desastres. Por un lado el Huracán Otto en la Costa atlántica de nuestro país y por el otro lado teníamos el impacto de un terremoto de 6.9 o 7 grados en el pacífico. Se activo todo el sistema de alerta de TSUNAMI en Nicaragua y de esta forma aun cuando no hubo TSUNAMI si se trabajo en función de la prevención. En todas estas situiaciones las TIC, la organización de la comunidad y un gobierno responsable como el que tenemos jugaron un papel fundamental para prevenir grandes desastres y perdidas humanas en estas situaciones que como todos sabemos son inpredectibles.

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Focused on what several of

Focused on what several of our participants in the forum related to what resilience means, I would like to contribute by giving an example of how ICTs help to develop resilience before the onslaught of nature. We recently had the sight of Hurricane Otto, who touched the coast of our country. Thanks to ICTs we already knew the route that the Hurricane took and knew in advance where exactly it was going to land, as it happened, giving the government the time to take the necessary preventions to evacuate whole communities, thus saving many Lives. There was also a day of the week where there were multiple disasters. On the one hand Hurricane Otto on the Atlantic coast of our country and on the other side we had the impact of an earthquake of 6.9 or 7 degrees in the Pacific. The entire TSUNAMI alert system was activated in Nicaragua and this way, even though there was no tsunami the work was carried out in terms of prevention. In all these situations ICT, community organization and responsible government such as the one we have played a key role in preventing major disasters and human losses in these situations, which as we all know are unpredictable.

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ICT and Resilience

Great contribution from friends and fellows here so far. I tend to follow behind Richard Heeks last paragraph, 'Unless we have some framework or model of resilience, then we can’t understand how to target, design or evaluate ICT interventions in agriculture'. What is the current values and standards created for the rural dweller to organise his or her life? Poverty continues to increase as the farming family continue to reproduce children with good care and adequate provision.

The level of awareness provide for quality decision and approaches in utilizing knowledge for sustainable development.

What are the monitoring mechanism for continuity in government agricultural policies among under-developed countries?

How can we be resilience without an integrated cross sectoral approach than promotes orderliness and rule of law?

What approaches have be put in place to evalute open data and estimated data in the agricultural sector as supply by countries especially in Africa?

A lot of indicators are required to understand the workability of ICT in supporting rural farmers resilience.

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Resilience and ICTs

Resilience is bouncing back to normal. ICTs help in resilience as there are several stages where farmer requires information to strengthen the planning and minimizing risk of cultivation. Information related to cultivation practices such as varietal characters, fertigation schedule, pest control methods, irrigation schedule, mechanization, planting and harvesting schedule, inter-cropping, crop rotation, etc may be classified under strategic information. Information about most suitable production and protection technologies is required for optimum and sustainable crop production.

Information on past trends regarding area, production, productivity, consumption, utilization, pest attack, climatic conditions, environmental concerns, fertigation, etc are of immense use in making decision in crop production. For example, past trends in climatic conditions may help growers in scheduling cultivation activities for optimum production and control of stresses.

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e-agriculture beyond 2015- World Summit on Information Society

In the "Vision for the World Summit on Information Society beyond 2015", there is a specific paragprah on resilience.

This full vision statement can be seen on page 3 of the e-agriculture 10-year review report available on www.fao.org/3/a-i4605e.pdf

"e. Promote the use of ICTs to reinforce the resilience capacity of states, communities and individuals to mitigate and adapt to natural and manmade disasters, food chain challenges, socio-economic and other crises, conflicts and transboundary threats, diseases, and environmental damages."

Therefore, in the vision, ICTs' role is to reienforce resilience in very specific situations. To be able to address resilience, the technologies themselves need to be resilient and resistant to shocks and disasters.