30 September 2006

ICTs for agricultural livelihoods

A new book highlights the lessons learned and achievements of the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) and its partners in using ICTs to support agricultural livelihoods.

Based on the projects assessed, the authors argue that "ICTs can contribute to achieving the first Millennium Development Goal to 'eradicate extreme hunger and poverty' by raising the income of small-scale farmers and strengthening the agriculture sector. Overall, ICTs contribute to better access to prices, markets and production information."

The secret of course is to ensure that projects and policy processes have been prepared so they realise the "full potential of ICT in the development process." Here, IICD recommends:
  • Using a participatory and integrated project design
  • Fostering ownership which is crucial to sustainability
  • Ensuring that relevant content is available
  • Including continued capacity development
  • Using various ICT options
  • Including learning and knowledge sharing mechanismsl
  • Integrating ICTs at organisation level
  • Mainstreaming ICTs in the agriculture sector



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