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Summary: Week 2 of the discussion on the role of ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop based systems

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The forum discussion on The Role of ICTs in Sustainable Crop Production Intensification (SCPI) of horticulture crop based systems ( mainly on fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers) is still on-going. Below we provide the summaries for the second week, you can read the summaries for the first week here


The question for week 2 was:-

Do you have any concrete examples of successful use of ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture crop based systems?

Summary of participation

As envisaged, this was yet another interesting and exciting week of learning, a number of promising and successful cases of ICTs - tools, technologies and innovative practices in use were shared, and these are applicable in different contexts and different scale of production.

Participants also highlighted the ever-increasing and significant roles of ICTs in ensuring Sustainable intensification of horticulture.

Since the birth of ICTs, great changes have been noted in the agricultural production systems. Horticulture, has not been spared evidenced by the cases shared, horticulture growers have benefitted immensely from the ICT revolution, from older technologies such as radio and television to advanced modern technologies, such as GPS navigation, satellite communication, and wireless connectivity, robots, etc.

The potential of ICTs in supporting access to, and exchange of information for smallholder farmers involved in horticulture production is clear.

Highlights : some of the major interventions or use of ICTs in sustainable intensification of horticulture:

  • Exchange of information for example in the case of disease surveillance and pest tracking.
  • Enhanced extension systems in horticulture
  • Improved agricultural production (-efficiency and efficacy-) from pre- to post production phases.
  • Creation of employment in the horticulture sector- making “ making farming appealing’’ to youths ( tapping and making use of the demographic dividend of the third world countries)
  • Risk management, access to markets, enhanced marketing and certification
  • Traceability of horticultural produce

Snippets from the participant’s’ contributions: ICT- (Tools, apps, technologies and innovative practices ) in use for sustainably intensifying horticulture crop production ranges from ;

  • Mobile phones,
  • Television
  • Videos,
  • Radio,
  • Internet,
  • Social Platforms ( Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc )
  • Computerised control systems ( WBGS)
  • Web based apps and platforms
  • Precision Irrigation and farming,
  • Robotics,
  • Internet of things wireless connectivity
  • Unmanned aerial systems ( UAS)
  • Use of Big Data for increasing productivity –upcoming Open data approach for increased production and productivity.

From a gamut of innovative, promising and successful case studies shared, offered below are a few randomly selected cases, for this and others in detail click here.

Case contributor

Location  ICTs application in Horticulture - case studies Brief Description / scope of intervention
Keron Bascombe Trinidad and Tobago SOUL Multi-purpose Cooperative
  • Rural Youth employment creation by enhancing their active participation in primary production and agro processing (horticulture produce) included.
  • Activities include  greenhouse vegetable production, sweet potato production etc. 
  • Enhanced information sharing and exchange.
The AGRINETT Project
  • Providing marketing information ex through  Market Watcher
Hasib Ahasan  Bangladesh Through mPower Social Enterprises limited and other partners,
Agric Extension Project (use of mobile tech, apps, and multimedia)
  • extension services 
  • Capacity building –Agric Knowledge bank.
  • Creation of farmer driven agric extension system. Farmer Query System ( FQS)
Allan Goodrich Zimbabwe  Huradza – Paprika Growers Scheme 
 
  • value chain linkages
  • Inputs, service and asset acquisition to Hort farmers
  • Financial support
  • Combination of technology, business, increased production and productivity and trust renewal amongst the actors in the ring-fenced farming value chains.

Some participants cited the following as the main challenges being encountered by famers; lack of knowledge, access to infrastructure ie ( “ICTs enablers’’– (internet connectivity, computers and smart phones…) , literacy, age etc. This brings us to the last question of our discussion,

What are the specific constraints you have faced in the use of ICTs for sustainable intensification of horticulture crop based systems and do you have any recommendations to decision makers for the use of ICTs in SCPI of horticulture-based systems? 

To comment click here.