Press release, 8 nov 2013

NEWS RELEASE

Kigali, 8 November 2013: For immediate release

“IT´S GOING TO BE AFRICA´S TURN NOW”: ICT4Ag LOOKS TO THE FUTURE

Increased use of information and communication technologies could soon boost growth in agriculture and lead to poverty reduction in many countries around the world, according to experts attending the ICT4Ag international conference, which was held this week in Kigali, Rwanda.

Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Agnes Matilda Kalibata, told the conference, which was organised by the Centre for Technical Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) together with her ministry, that ICTs are “low-hanging fruit for poverty reduction.” And CTA Director Michael Hailu described the benefits that are beginning to flow from the increased use of ICTs for agriculture as “one of the great opportunities of our times”.

Dr Aparajita Goyal, an economist in the World Bank’s Agriculture Department, confirmed the Bank’s belief in the transformative power of ICTs:

“The World Bank’s participation in the ICT4Ag conference reaffirms our commitment to the use of ICT for agriculture in development and we recognise both the challenges and the promise of these new technologies.

“Important efforts are underway now in some of our projects using Public Private Partnerships to build financially stable business models, which will help to achieve greater impact and scale”.

The European Union’s newly appointed Ambassador to Rwanda, Michael Ryan, who spoke in the opening session of the conference, shared the mood of optimism.

“It’s going to be Africa’s turn now in the coming years and we want to be there helping that launch, so that the prosperity African citizens deserve comes their way”.

He emphasised that the EU had provided significant support to assist the development of agriculture in Africa and would continue to do so. In Rwanda alone, there are three major projects funded by the EU, which are each worth 40 million euros. He said that he “did not exclude” the possibility of a focus on ICT for agriculture in the future. The World Bank’s Dr Goyal added a note of caution, however:

“While much encouraging work is taking place across the globe, there is much more that needs to be done in ICT for Agriculture to ensure that the scale of the response is commensurate with the needs of rural populations”.

ICT4Ag international conference has been a major success for CTA and participants were delighted with the event’s innovative format.

“Conferences this size are nearly always Powerpoint-led,” said Giacomo Rambaldi, Senior Programme Coordinator ICT at CTA.  “But right from the outset, we decided that this one would be different – that interaction would be at the core of the conference”.

“The conference has brought together people who often don’t come together in the same forum, and I think it has put ICT firmly back on the international agenda,” said CTA Director Michael Hailu. The conference attracted delegates from across the age spectrum, with young people playing a major role, and farmers sharing idea with ICT experts.

Press release, 5 nov 2013

NEWS RELEASE

Kigali, Rwanda, 5 November 2013: For immediate release

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES SET TO TRANSFORM SMALLHOLDER FARMING

Smallholder farming, which is the backbone of many African economies, is set to be transformed by a combination of investment and increasing access to information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly mobile phones. The claim was made today (Tuesday) by Michael Hailu, Director of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) at ICT4Ag, a major conference on ICTs in agriculture.

Press release Minagri, 1 nov 2013

NEWS RELEASE

Expectation of upcoming ICT4AG Conference

Category: Minagri News


The ICT4AG Conference, co-hosted by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Ministry of Agriculture & Animal Resources (MINAGRI), and the Ministry of Youth & ICT (MYICT), will take place in Kigali from November 4th to 8th. Over 400 delegates from around Africa, the Caribbean, Pacific, and beyond will gather to discuss advance in ICT for agriculture.

Dubbed “ICT4AG: The Digital Springboard for Inclusive Agriculture,” the conference occurs on the cusp of the momentum created by the Transform Africa Summit 2013 to offer participants the opportunity to discover innovative ways to use technology and create solutions for the agriculture sector.

“The conference will be an opportunity to learn new practices and how ICT can be used to boost agriculture. But also, it is an occasion to encourage young people to take advantage of this agriculture sector and the use of ICT,” said Minister Kalibata when asked what the ICT4AG Conference will bring to Rwanda.

Venturing into ICT and encouraging the youth to participate will create jobs through delivering services to farmers, and open the job market even further for the region. It is also an opportunity for the private sector to generate income just by engaging in ICT.

Currently, ICT applications being used here in Rwanda towards agriculture include applications like e-Soko, the fertilize voucher system, AMIS (farmers’ website), mVISA, a mobile banking system, among others. The recent winner of the Rwanda ICT4AG National Hackathon, Fertilizer Logic, will soon become part of a group that is growing in the use of ICT for agriculture.

The East African Commodity Exchange is another recently launched system whose aim is to provide regional and international markets for farmers within East Africa. The ICT NASDAQ-hosted platform will enable ease of electronic trading of commodities.

The main focus of the conference will for participants to actively come up with solutions that farmers can afford and are cost-effective to run. On the first day, there will be a “Plug and Play Day” to showcase what has already been achieved within the agriculture sector using ICT applications.

Stephane Gambier, Senior Programme Coordinator Communication of CTA, said that the conference will be a chance to interact and network with experts and discuss how to provide inexpensive and real solutions.

He also mentioned that the ICT4AG Conference will focus on how media and multimedia can be a another effective and key toolin addition to ICT toprovide information to farmers.

 

Source: Minagri News

Press Release: The winds of change

THE WINDS OF CHANGE

The ICT4Ag conference invites content proposals

The international delegates representing both the public and private sectors will meet on 4–8 November 2013 in Kigali, Rwanda, for the ICT4Ag conference.

The objective of this event, which is co-hosted by the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), is to enable participants to discover the opportunities offered by the digital revolution to agriculture in developing countries.

The agenda will cover the latest technological trends, the lessons learned from experience, as well as current debates, in a context where food security is becoming an overriding challenge for governments and citizens alike.

Download the full press release below.

Press release: Winds of change

ICT4Ag media competition finalists

CTA is delighted to announce that the six finalists in the ICT4Ag media competition have been selected. Inoussa Maïga, Joshua Masinde, Alain G. Lietbouo, Fidelis Zvomuya, Arison Mbuli Tamfu and Sandra Chao will be joining us in Kigali from 4-8 November.

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