15 June 2009

Red del Campo Panamá: Innovative network connects rural people

An innovative program in Panama - and Central America - brings together key stakeholders and more than 17 key public and private organizations and their programs to enhance knowledge and information sharing for rural development and food security.

The "Network of the Country People" (Red del Campo in Spanish) is enhancing the digital production of local content while introducing a broad set of tools and services that combines modern and conventional media. Internet Web/Web 2.0 tools mixed with modern devices (Ipods, TouchSmart PCs, Skype-phones, etc.) and traditional such as phone and radio is serving to better connect the rural people in Panama. The first phase (launched May 26) will be expanding its content and coverage during the 3Q/2009.

Among its services, Red del Campo offers a Call Centre (507-0777) and a web-based portal (REDDELCAMPO.NET) with up-to-date domestic market prices for +120 crops, TV/radio programs, an electronic repository of applied technologies, rural legislation and agro-maps, a technical directory in rural sector and a virtual market that allows producers to offer products and services over the Internet.

The development of this program started with the finantial and technical contribution of more than US$200.000 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO) that designed and implemented the network jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture (MIDA) and with participation of the City of Knowledge Foundation (FCdS) and the International Centre for Sustainable Development (CIDES).

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