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October 2016 | e-Agriculture Newsletter

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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.

IN THIS ISSUE:

e-Agriculture in figures
 

Since its launch in 2007, the Community has grown steadily and by September 2016, e-Agriculture had reached 14,000 registered members! Many people consider our platform www.e-agriculture.org as a reliable source of information for ICT4Ag, and the statistics seem to confirm this: from January to September 2016 we registered more than 300,000 page views and more than 200,000 sessions.

New pages in 2016: Two new pages were created this year

Audiovisual Page

During this year the Audiovisual Page was created in order to respond to emerging trends. Radio and video are an excellent way of using ICTs to share experiences and good practices from projects in agricultural and rural development with a large audience. An audiovisual material can describe and illustrate a good practice and transfer information in a very effective way, showing step-by-step what the experience is about.

ICT Update Magazine Page

ICT Update is a bimonthly printed bulletin, a web magazine, and an accompanying email newsletter and mobile website focusing on ICTs for agricultural development. ICT Update is published by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP–EU (CTA). e-Agriculture and ICT Update work together to be able to collect and share even more ICT4Ag information. Through the ICT Update page you will be able to gain access to all of the ICT4Ag news available in ictupdate.cta.int.

e-Agriculture Strategy Guide: Latest Developments

With the recent publication of Bhutan’s Renewable Natural Resources Master Plan (E-RNR) and Sri Lanka’s e-Agriculture Strategy, these two countries are the first to develop a comprehensive e-Agriculture strategy based on the FAO-ITU e-Agriculture Strategy Guide. FAO is implementing a technical cooperation program with the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Vanuatu to develop their respective national e-Agriculture strategy. Many countries are finding a growing need to develop and implement an e-Agriculture strategy, and showing increasing interest in doing so. All updates are made available on the e-Agriculture strategies dedicated page.

e-Agriculture Solutions Forum in Thailand

FAO and ITU organized a three day e-Agriculture Solutions Forum from 29 to 31 August 2016 followed by a two day Training-of-trainers (ToT) on the development of national e-Agriculture strategies from 1 to 2 September 2016 in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

The three day forum included an exhibition and knowledge sharing sessions on sustainable ICT for agriculture. This event brought together ICT in agriculture solution providers who showcased their latest technologies and provided valuable opportunities for networking to further strengthen national e-Agriculture implementations. The three-day forum and exhibition has attracted more than 120 participants from across Asia and the Pacific, but also Europe and the Middle East.

Expert consultation on e-Government aspects of national e-Agriculture strategies for sustainable family farming in Hungary

Ten countries - Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Slovakia, Turkey and Uzbekistan - attended the Expert Consultation from 22 to 24 June 2016 in Visegrad, Hungary. Participants clarified their own countries concepts and needs to implement a national e-Agriculture strategy.

Compared to last year, the presentations of each country showed a growing number of activities related to e-Agriculture, implemented in a more systematic and coordinated way at national level. For example Hungary introduced a new Digital Agriculture Strategy, Albania started developing an integrated service called Farmer Single Window, Azerbaijan launched a broad e-Agriculture project with EU support, FYR Macedonia opened a series of annual conferences on ICTs in agriculture, Moldova continued to strengthen the operation of its Agriculture Information Centre according to enforced national law, while in Uzbekistan they started the translation of the e-Agriculture strategy guide to Russian language. Participants still identified numerous problems and challenges which should be tackled by a series of follow-up actions, as summarised in the recommendations part of the report, to be published soon on the website of the event.

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS): Update

The WSIS Forum 2016 was held from 2 to 6 May 2016 at the ITU Headquarters in Geneva. This year the Forum attracted more than 1800 WSIS Stakeholders from more than 150 countries. Several high-level representatives of the wider WSIS Stakeholder community graced the Forum with more than 85 ministers and deputies, several ambassadors, CEOs and Civil Society leaders contributing passionately towards the programme of the Forum. On–site and remote participation increased tremendously during the WSIS Forum 2016.

WSIS forum is an opportunity to recognize the work done in the use of ICTs in different action lines such as e-Agriculture. The WSIS prize showcases success stories and models that can be easily replicated; empower communities at the local level, and recognize the efforts of stakeholders for their value to society and commitment to achieving the WSIS goals. This year the Somalia project on Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) FAO project - a breakthrough in mobile data collection, surveillance to distance and dynamic mapping, was awarded WSIS 2016 Champion Prize. The other winners in WSIS Action Line C7 “ICT Applications:     e-Agriculture” are: Krishoker Janala (Farmer's Window) by a2i, Prime Minister's Office, (Bangladesh), City-to-Farm Agriculture Assisting by the Advanced Info Services (AIS) (Thailand), and Increasing Food Production through ICT Research and Development by the University of the West Indies, (Trinidad and Tobago).

 Upcoming events

23 and 24 November 2016: ICT in Agribusiness Conference in Skopje, Macedonia

29 November to 1 December 2016: Africa Web Festival 2016 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

16 and 17 February 2017: European Intelligent Agriculture Congress in Brussels, Belgium

12 to 16 June 2017WSIS Forum 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland

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