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USAID's Fostering Agriculture Competitiveness Employing Information Communication Technologies (FACET)

The Fostering Agriculture Competitiveness Employing Information and Communication Technologies (FACET) program, an associate award under the FIELD-Support LWA and managed by FHI 360, was funded by USAID/AFR/SD/EGEA––the partnership that oversees the design and implementation of USAID’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative for sub-Saharan Africa.

Designed to be interactive and collaborative, FACET provided technical assistance to improve competitiveness and productivity across agriculture sub-sectors through the use of ICTs as tools to enhance the functioning and competitiveness of agricultural value chains and facilitate trade in agricultural products across sub-Saharan Africa.

In line with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah’s call for an increased focus on evidence-based interventions, documentation and learning dissemination, FACET incorporated lessons learned and best practices to build collaborative relationships. To achieve its objectives, FACET had two key program components:

  • Knowledge sharing across Missions regarding sustainable and scalable approaches using ICT; and
  • Short-term technical assistance to projects to help them improve their uses of ICT

The knowledge sharing objective is extended by making the main outputs, toolkits and case studies, available to a global audience through the e-Agriculture Community.

Toolkits

25/01/2013
This toolkit is designed to help agricultural development projects and organizations use low-cost video to augment the traditional agricultural extension services they are providing. It is important to stress that this toolkit does not assume that video media is the most appropriate solution for...
16/01/2013
This toolkit is designed to help USAID projects and other implementing organizations use interactive radio to augment the traditional agricultural extension services they are providing. In addition, it aims to provide practitioners with a foundational understanding of what is needed to create...

Briefing papers

06/06/2013
This paper focuses on how ICT solutions can empower agricultural producers by improving their marketing capabilities, with an emphasis on smallholder farmers. ICT solutions can increase efficiencies and improve competitive dynamics in agriculture, which can raise agricultural productivity and...
27/05/2013
This paper details crowdsourcing in an agricultural development context, defined in the textbox. Although still fairly new in practice, it provides a potentially affordable tool for practitioners to conduct field research, gather data from remote areas, exchange information among key stakeholders...
24/05/2013
This briefing paper presents the results of an assessment carried out to explore the current use of sustainable (without on-going donor support) and scalable (potentially to millions of farmers) agricultural market price information systems (MIS) in Africa, with a particular focus on East Africa....
14/01/2013
This briefing paper presents the results of an assessment carried out to identify, document and disseminate information about ICTs that are being used by African agribusiness companies to improve the management of outgrowing operations and the various forms of support they provide to farmers.  This...
14/01/2013
This paper focuses on how mobile finance, specifically mobile money transfer (MMT) and mobile banking, can benefit agricultural value chains and farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. It includes three case studies to illustrate how various agriculture value chain stakeholders are benefiting from third-...

ICT and Ag Profiles

20/08/2015
On 11 August, IITA Bukavu hosted a colorful event that attracted many eminent guests who took part in – and made their contribution to the Conference on Women in Agriculture with the theme “Women in Agriculture: Our Heritage, Challenges, Opportunities and Way Forward”. A key feature of the day was...
26/02/2013
A brief profile outlining aWhere, a free online platform that provides graphically displayed weather data—both historical and forecasts—for South Asia, and West, East, and Southern Africa,  including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business...
15/02/2013
A brief profile outlining Plant Agrichem Services and its use of discount coupons and an electronic agent database and tracking system to facilitate rural agent sales including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business model, and impact. 
13/02/2013
A brief profile outlining the input tracking system being used by Armajaro Trading in Ghana to manage its cotton farmers,  including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business model, and impact. 
12/02/2013
A brief profile outlining Tanga Fresh, a dairy company in Tanzania that is using bulk SMS messaging and radio to provide extension messaging to its farmers,  including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business model, and impact. 

Webinars and other media

23/05/2013
9am DC / 2pm London / 4pm Nairobi   Bring your questions to USAID’s FACET project webinar on Freedom Fone, an open source, interactive voice-based communications platform. The service enables users to engage with their audiences across literacy, language, and connectivity barriers using mobile...
23/05/2013
USAID's FACET project hosted a webinar that looked at mobile monitoring and evaluation (M&E) apps that are being used or have the potential to be used in agriculture development projects. It was based on the forthcoming briefing paper on the same subject written by Alice Liu and Maria Bina...
23/05/2013
USAID's FACET project hosted two webinars that looked at how ICT applications are currently being used to advance the agriculture industry in Africa. Each of the free online events promoted a respective topic for separate forthcoming FACET project briefing papers. The first webinar focused on ICT...
23/05/2013
USAID's FACET project hosted a webinar that looked at how mobile finance (mobile money, mobile banking and mobile phone based applications) is changing the understanding of value chain finance and the benefits it can bring to all stakeholders along the value chain, specifically agribusinesses and...
23/05/2013
This webinar occurred on Tuesday, February 12th at 9am EST (14.00 GMT, 17.00 EAT). It was hosted by USAID’s FACET project and explored how agriculture development projects can use mobile and other technologies to enhance the impact of radio programming targeting rural farmers.Summary:  This webinar...