“Use of Information and Communication Technology improves income of Farmers”
The use of Information and Communication Technology such as mobile phones or computers, can connect farmers and increase their income, stated IICD’s managing director Caroline Figuères at the United Nations Infopoverty World Conference in New York.
“It is important to connect smallholder farmers to become more productive, innovative and responsive to changing markets and social and environmental conditions. Information and Communication technology is crucial to achieve this.” said Caroline Figuères in her speech at the United Nations headquarters.
“Smallholder farmers are key actors who will contribute to feeding the planet and managing natural resources. Connecting them should be done in an affordable and relevant way. For example, in Santa Cruz (Bolivia), farmers are now able to increase the income they earn for their produce via the internet, radio and mobile phone. By going to a website, listening to a daily radio show or subscribing to a daily text message service, they find out where and when their produce is sold at the highest price.
“We need to transform the behaviour and attitudes if we want to foster development,” Figuères continued. “Giving information is not enough for change. Local relevant content such as videos that present how to grow specific crops, needs to be developed by farmer organisations. But our experience is that a farmer to farmer approach, encouraging sharing and communication between farmers is very much needed to change their practices for the better.”
A powerpoint version of Figuères’ presentation can be found on IICD’s Scribd page and is also embedded in this article. For more information about IICD’s experience with ICT for agriculture and food security also see our 5 years ICT for rural agriculture learning report and our recommendations for the UN conference on sustainable development Rio+20.
Posted by Tara Homeri
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(WOUGNET Online Volunteer mobilised through UNV Online Volunteer Service)