09 August 2009

ITU Technology Watch Report: ICTs and Food Security

This report from the ITU examines some ways that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are being used to address the problems of food security and hunger.

From the conclusion:

"ICTs are used by many international organizations for mapping and monitoring world food supplies, early warning systems, and to respond when disasters strike."

"In developing countries, the use of ICTs by farmers and the rural population to overcome hunger and food security remains in early stages. The mobile phone revolution, especially the growth of mobile penetration in developing countries, offers new opportunities to benefit farmers and agricultural production. Better access to weather, market and price information can have an impact on the incomes of farmers and fishermen. However, the full potential of ICTs to address food security has yet to be realized."

"In developed countries, ubiquitous sensor networks and radio-frequency identification applications are leaving the university and research labs to be deployed in the fields and food supply chains. Standards for the better design and implementation of USN using wired and wireless sensor networks could increase ICT use in agriculture. To lessen the risk of unsafe food, RFID tags and further standardization in this area can heighten compatibility between tags in different countries, which would ensure an effective global use of the tags for food tracking."

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