08 June 2006

Defining 'e-agriculture'

The recently-concluded world summit on the information society (in two phases in 2003 and 2005) has an action line on 'E-agriculture' that FAO is mandated to facilitate. As with many other 'e' phrases that populate our world, one challenge is to precisely define what is meant by e-agriculture - and how it relates to existing information activities we work with.

The FAO Bridging the Rural Digital Divide programme (www.fao.org/rdd/) suggests in a recent document that "E-Agriculture is an emerging field in the intersection of agricultural informatics, agricultural development and entrepreneurship, referring to agricultural services, technology dissemination, and information exchanged or enhanced through the Internet and related technologies. More specifically, it involves the conceptualization, design, development, evaluation and application of new (innovative) ways to use existing or emerging information and communication technologies (ICT)."

In the coming weeks, FAO will be leading and facilitating efforts to concretize the notion and define concrete actions as part of its follow-up to the WSIS process.




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