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November 2016 | e-Agriculture Online Forum on the use of ICTs for Resilience

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The e-Agriculture newsletter is part of a global initiative to enhance sustainable agricultural development and food security by improving the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). e-Agriculture Community of Practice comprises of more than 14,000 registered members from over 170 countries and territories.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and e-Agriculture are preparing an online forum discussion on "Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Resilience". The forum will take place from 28 November to 13 December 2016.  We invite all our members to participate and to follow the discussion.

Many successful experiences on the use of ICTs for Resilience at FAO have already been documented such as eLocust, SWALIM, OpenForis, EMA-i, EMPRES-i, etc. Based on these experiences and others from the partners, subject matter experts and members of the e-Agriculture Community of Practice, a two week discussion forum will be held to capitalize on these experiences, to share knowledge and to work towards overall recommendations on the use of ICTs for Resilience. 

Resilience - Sustainable development cannot be achieved without resilient livelihoods. People around the world are increasingly exposed to natural hazards and crises – from drought, floods, earthquakes and disease epidemics to conflict, market shocks and complex, protracted crises. Worldwide, 75 percent of poor and food insecure people rely on agriculture and natural resources for their living. People who rely on farming, livestock, forests or fishing for their food and income – around one-third of the world’s population – are often the most vulnerable and affected. Climate change, in particular extreme weather-related shocks, is exacerbating the situation.

ICTs for Resilience - Today, more and more ICTs are used in agriculture, fishery or forestry. The use of such technologies in agriculture and rural development is called e-Agriculture. ICTs that can be harnessed for e-Agriculture may include devices, networks, services and applications. These can range from cutting edge Internet-based technologies and sensing tools to other technologies that have been around for much longer, such as radio, telephones, televisions, mobile phones and satellites.

FAO and ICTs for Resilience - FAO promotes the use of ICTs to reinforce the resilience capacity of states, communities and individuals. ICTs can be a powerful tool for to strengthen community preparedness and resilience to natural disasters. ICTs have the advantage that they can be controlled from a different geographic area where data can be centralized in a safer zone. This also proves to be an asset in difficult situations such as insecure and war-torn countries (e.g. Somalia). Another advantage is that through ICTs data can be transferred in a very fast and effective way which proves to be essential in situations where a delay in information can be fatal for farmers and their crops. FAO Resilience website

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) - The mandate for the e-Agriculture Action Line was extended in the WSIS+10 Vision. Building on work to date, it encouraged the use of ICTs to reinforce the resilience of communities faced with natural and man-made disasters and environmental change. Point “e” of WSIS+10 Vision for WSIS Beyond 2015: “C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life: e-Agriculture”, aims to “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.” WSIS Website

e-Agriculture Forum on ICTs for Resilience 

Within the global discussion on Resilience, FAO and e-Agriculture want to bring forward specific solutions ICTs can bring. The forum will take place from 28 November till 13 December. Members of the platform can share their views continuously during those two weeks, once they have logged in.

The forum page can be accessed through the following link: http://www.e-agriculture.org/forums/forum-archive/forum-icts-resilience. The questions will only be activated during the forum, starting with the first.

In order to participate/comment you will have login at the time of the forum. Please contact info@e-agriculture.org if you have no longer access to your account.

The forum will be opened by Mr. Shukri Ahmed, Deputy Strategic Planning Leader – Resilience from FAO with a global introduction on the topic of resilience and the important role ICTs will play.


Subject Matter Experts and Case Study Contributors

Lee H. Babcock – Mobile Finance Specialist – LHB Associates – USA

Sharbendu Banjeree – Global Director Mobile – CABI – India

Justin Chisenga – Capacity Development Officer – FAO – Italy

Theo Cosmora – CEO and Founder – SocialEco Ltd - UK

Keith Cressman – Senior Agricultural Officer – FAO - Italy

Gwenaelle Dauphin – Animal Health Officer - FAO – Italy

Walter Mayer - CEO – Progis – Germany

Walter de Oliveira – Senior Programme Coordinator- FAO - Mozambique

Shaun Ferris – Director Agriculture and Livelihoods – Catholic Relief Services – USA

Santosh Ostwal – CEO and Founder - Ossian Agro Automation Pvt Ltd - India

Julio Pinto – Animal Health Officer – FAO – Italy

Tetsuya Uchino – Business Strategy Unit – Fujitsu Kuyushi Systems Ltd – Japan


To awaken your curiosity:

Keith Cressman, Senior Agricultural Officer at FAO will talk about eLocust, an innovative tool for crop pest control (Global)

Santosh Ostwal, the CEO and Founder of Ossian Agro-automation Pvt. Ltd will explain how to use Nano Ganesh, remote control of water pumps by mobile phones (India)

Walter de Oliveira, Senior Programme Coordinator at FAO will share his experience on the use of electronic vouchers for agro-inputs (Mozambique)

And many more!



Alice Van der Elstraeten (FAO)


Pietro Aldobrandini (FAO)


Forum Questions

Week 1

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

b. Do you have concrete examples of successful use of ICTs in resilience? (November 30th)

c. What are the specific constraints you have faced in the use of ICTs for resilience? (December 2nd)

Week 2

a. How should the use of ICTs best be integrated in resilience programmes or projects? (December 5th)

b. What are the recommendations you would have to decision makers for the use of ICTs in resilience? (NGOs, civil society and governments) (December 9th)

For any further information please contact info@e-agriculture.org, Alice Van der Elstraeten: alice.vanderelstraeten@hotmail.com or Pietro Aldobrandini: pietro.aldobrandini@fao.org



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