Others The purpose of ARDYIS is to raise youth awareness and capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries through ICTs. http://ardyis.cta.int Tue, 21 Aug 2018 10:20:11 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Celebrating Girls in ICT Day http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/292-celebrating-girls-in-ict-day http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/292-celebrating-girls-in-ict-day


Today (28 April) is the International Girls in ICT Day and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) is celebrating with young women in ICT, Agriculture and related fields. Are you a young woman interested in innovation for agriculture? As part of today's celebration, you can win a print copy of our new publication "Innovate for Agriculture" and learn from it how to drive successfully ICT innovations in agriculture. You can also win other nice gifts! If you are interested, all you need to do is to:

  • like our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/ardyis/ or follow our Twitter account https://twitter.com/ardyis_cta (if you are not following us yet)
  • write a short text of not more than 300 words telling us about your interest in agriculture innovation and what you personally do linking ICT and agriculture. You should include in your twitter account, your website or Facebook and send all this by email to ardyis-project@cta.int before 8 May 2016.

At least 10 participants will be selected to win a print copy our new publication "Innovate for Agriculture" and other nice gifts, including at least another CTA publication of your choice! At least half of the gifts will be attributed to our new followers on social media! Some best stories may also be published!

PS: Les textes peuvent être aussi soumis en français

]]> Others Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:45:39 +0000 The Future Google of Agricultural Land Information http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/273-future-google-agrinfo http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/273-future-google-agrinfo



“No, it’s not easy being an entrepreneur”, answers Rose Funja, director of ICT & Research at University of Bagamoyo. While you might not always pay attention to an academic talking about the world of entrepreneurship, Rose is not your typical scholar. Having studied telecommunications engineering in China and worked in the private sector before embarking on a career in teaching and research, she has recently become an entrepreneur as well and co-founded an innovative business in the exciting field of ICTs for agriculture.


So Rose would know the difficulties of starting a business. Even the most successful start-ups will run into challenges and barriers that require perseverance and inventiveness to break through.
Agrinfo, the company she founded with business partner Grace Makanyaga, is one of those lucky start-ups. “Agrinfo is essentially an online database that registers land ownership in villages”, Rose explains. Usually, in many parts of Tanzania, ownership is written in village customary documents that offer unclear or non-absolute descriptions of plots of land, such as “north of John’s land”. These documents are kept in depositories where consulting them is a demanding and bureaucratic process, and is even harder when land changes hands and a sale has to be formalised.

Through her own land-buying experiences as member of a timber-investment group, Rose found out at first hand how difficult this process can be. The usefulness of a database containing verifiable and accessible data seemed obvious and Rose partnered with Grace – who was then her student – to start brainstorming about what would become Agrinfo. But there were many challenges: farmer organisations did not want to share the land data they managed with a new company without first seeing a more developed product, while banks were not ready to invest in the development of that product without seeing the crucial data that the company would depend on.

They had a stroke of luck, but only after putting in some hard work. Through a local technical hub, Buni Hub, Rose found out about the first CTA Agrihack organised event in East Africa; she entered it, and among fierce competition, Agrinfo became second regional runner-up. This resulted in some much-needed investment for the new enterprise, and more importantly: a valuable business incubation period that brought skills and knowledge to develop the company to where it is today. Rose therefore suggests that ICT schools should include a practical entrepreneurial component for students who want to be entrepreneurs in the future.

Agriculture is an area which offers plenty of opportunity and space for new ICT entrepreneurs. “Everybody involved in farming wants to produce more and reach more markets. If companies develop new technologies that can help agricultural stakeholders get this, they will go for these products”. The future for ICTs in agriculture is clearly very positive in Rose’s eyes. A key challenge that remains is how to engage more youths in this pursuit, a task that traditional institutions are not always equipped for. ICTs in agriculture are still a new field; and as Rose’s story exemplifies, established organizations like banks and farmer organizations may struggle to understand all the potential it offers. “If schools and universities vie for their students and guarantee that they are capable of being entrepreneurs, other institutions will take up the challenges that remain”.

It is therefore really needed that governments in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries as well as development agencies better support youth agricultural entrepreneurship including ICT for agriculture entrepreneurship. In the meantime, Rose and Grace are eager to exploit the opportunities of ICTs in agriculture. They have undertaken a soft launch of Agrinfo and are now uploading the first official paid for data. They are also in talks with two large farmers associations to have MoU in place in order to work with their farmers.

They are very eager to address all challenges faced and are hoping to develop Agrinfo into the “Google of agricultural land information” in Tanzania and beyond – an ambition that may not be as far-fetched as it sounds.

Find out more at http://www.agrinfo.co.tz/
Article published in the framework of the International Youth Day 2015
Read more at:
bit.ly/1DJGfUP

]]> Others Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:02:29 +0000 Pest Control Mobile Application, and Much More http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/272-pest-control-mobile http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/272-pest-control-mobile


Pests – they are good for almost nothing! Well, maybe this is not true in all cases or for everyone. Troy Weekes and Mortimer Seale from Barbados have been inspired by pests to develop a promising agricultural application called CropGuard. As the name suggests, it is an app that provides information that helps defend produce against pests, identified as a key problem in agricultural activities in Barbados.

It offers farmers the option to diagnose their specific problem and advise them how to deal with it. “It’s a knowledge management system,” Troy describes. Through this app, “we connect government administrators, extension services, and research with the farmers who need the information the most. ”Farmers can not only search a database, but they can also send photographs to extension officers to receive quick and correct technical help. “We’re establishing a real-time channel,” as Troy explains. “The extension officer can see what the farmer is seeing and offer much better help in solving the issue.”


So far, the feedback for CropGuard has been overwhelmingly positive. Aside from praise from researchers, government officials and most importantly farmers, the app has also inspired people in ways that the two developers would have never thought it would. “We were approached by a teacher who was so excited by the app because she saw it as an educational tool for her students,” Troy recounts. Students had noticed CropGuard at a convention and were able to remember names of crops because the user interface had been captivating. “She was beaming with excitement. It was incredible – we had never thought of using the app as an interactive game before, and suddenly, this teacher was sharing this whole other usage that could have tremendous impact on the engagement of young people in the sector.”

In October 2014, judges at the regional Agrihack Talent Caribbean initiative were also impressed. Troy’s team walked away with the second prize that gave them 6 months of incubation and a cash reward to invest in the product. Troy and Mortimer see much more potential in CropGuard. “We’re developing an open data API so other developers and systems can connect to our data,” Mortimer notes. Data holds the key to improving many of the problems farmers face, such as excess produce of a certain crop or keeping track of pest infestations. The challenge is to build applications that produce meaningful suggestions for the relevant stakeholders from all that data.

Their incubation has been managed by the Barbadian company Wi Connect Mobile in collaboration with the National Council for Science and Technology of the government of Barbados. Apart from improving their product and participating in agriculture fairs to present their product and exchange with experts, CropGuard’s team has achieved other key milestones. For example, they have launched a new testing phase of the app that will cover not just Barbados but other Caribbean countries; they have also authored with their mentor a research paper on the potentials and first results of CropGuard, detailing as well the benefits of data sharing for agriculture development.


Troy and Mortimer, who are also involved in agricultural cooperative, have set something in motion that today offers more potential than they could have dreamed of in the first phase of their engagement in this activity. And they are very ambitious about it. “The possibilities are endless, and we want to keep all of our options open” concluded an excited Troy.

Find out more at: http://cropguard.addisalemcoop.com/
This article partly builds on an article written by Ashoka for a forthcoming CTA publication
Article published in the framework of the International Youth Day 2015
Read more at: bit.ly/1DJGfUP

]]> Others Wed, 12 Aug 2015 08:56:30 +0000 MOBIS – Helping Smallholder Farmers Access Credit and Manage their Finances http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/270-mobis-helping-smallholders http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/270-mobis-helping-smallholders

David Opio


As a child growing up in rural Uganda, David Opio experienced at first hand the difficulties faced by smallholder farmers. His mother owned an acre of land but was unable to farm it fully because she lacked the resources she needed to do so. Now David is an ambitious entrepreneur, with a passion for information and communication technologies (ICTs).  He is working to improve the livelihoods of rural farmers in Uganda.


Too many projects are invented in offices, far removed from farmers and their needs. But this initiative was different: working with Gerald Otim, David studied producers’ needs and expectations, and looked at existing solutions. Building on their in-depth knowledge of the target area and their understanding of local problems in rural Uganda, David and Gerald quickly saw a key gap. Their idea was simple – to provide an innovative service for farmers that would help them to get access to financing.

 

They developed their solution – an information system facilitating access to loans and financing for small farmers – in cooperation with savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs). These cooperatives encourage savings and provide loans. There are thousands of SACCOs in Uganda, with about 18 million members in rural areas. However, their impact is limited and this is notably because they lack appropriate information technology.


Local solutions to local problems

To address this deficiency, David and Gerald developed Ensibuuko app (later known as Mobile Banking and Information Software [MOBIS]) – a mobile banking system that allows small-scale farmers to get access to credit and to manage their own money. With a mobile phone, farmers can manage their savings, request a loan, make repayments, etc. The SACCOs also benefit from MOBIS: using this tool has helped them increase the quality and reliability of their services considerably while reducing their overheads.


Decisive partnerships

The idea of the Ensibuuko app was good and the partnerships  created helped considerably in achieving its success.

The application was developed in the framework of a regional hackathon (AgriHack) organised in 2013 by CTA’s Agriculture Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society (ARDYIS) project as part of the ICT4Ag international conference in Kigali, Rwanda. “After becoming regional winners of the hackathon, we benefitted from a six-month incubation at Outbox, an ICT centre in Kampala. We also benefitted from mentoring and coaching by several leaders in the field,” said David.

Since then, Ensibuuko has recruited eight employees, including several young women developers, and has attracted international partners.

They were also involved in other CTA activities such as the Plug and Play Day at the Fin4Ag international conference held in 2014; this allowed them to pitch their product to the public and to potential partners. The Government of Uganda, for example, encourages SACCOs to adopt MOBIS. Mercy Corps and Microsoft in Uganda are other partners for the deployment and uptake of the services. Ensibuuko has now diversified its services offering also access to solar energy to farmers.

More than 10,000 Ugandan farmers are now using MOBIS.

Find out more at http://www.ensibuuko.com/
Initially published on the EU website on July 16th in the framework of the European Year of Development 2015 celebrations
Republished in the framework of International Youth Day. Read more at: bit.ly/1DJGfUP

]]> Others Wed, 12 Aug 2015 21:14:00 +0000 Apply to be part of the Social Reporting Team for the Pacific Community AgriTourism Week in Fiji! http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/267-social-reporting-pacific http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/267-social-reporting-pacific

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), in collaboration with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the University of the South Pacific (USP) is hosting the Pacific Community Agritourism Week from 29th June to 3rd July 2015 in Nadi, Fiji to promote opportunities for Pacific Agrifood sector in tourism-related markets.

The objective is to strengthen the link between the two important sectors – agriculture and tourism – and promote trade for poverty alleviation in Pacific communities. The major activities for the week include a Pacific regional farmer technical exchange and networking with Caribbean counterparts to share knowledge and experiences working with the tourism sector; a niche agrifood display of value-added products, and technical exchange and learning forums aimed at building the capacity of farmers, chefs, policy makers and the private sector on tourist-related markets.

This event is jointly funded through CTA and the the Intra-ACP EU-funded Pacific Agricultural Policy Project (PAPP). The week will also coincide with a six-monthly meeting of the PAPP Steering Committee consisting representatives of 14 Pacific ACP countries and Timor-Leste.

Social reporting for the Pacific Community Agritourism Week

CTA in collaboration with SPC is supporting a team of young social reporters to attend and report on the event throughout the week. The objective of social media reporters is to raise awareness on the event, engage on-site participants and reach out to a wider audience remotely.


The social reporting team is composed of 2 sub-teams; on-site social reporters and online social reporters.

On-site social reporters

8 young social reporters from the Pacific will be selected to participate in the Pacific Community Agritourism week, attend a two-day training workshop on the use of digital media for social reporting and provide social media coverage during the week. The training workshop will be from 27th to 28th June. All CTA and SPC funded social media reporters will be given an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and training on the use of social media.

At the end of the event, the social reporters will be awarded a certificate. Among the 8 on-site reporters, 5 will be from the Pacific Region and 3 will be from Fiji.

Online social reporters

Other interested social media enthusiasts who are not from the Pacific, but interested to report on the event can join the larger social reporting team that will participate and contribute remotely (online) to the outreach of the event.

Social reporting for the Pacific Community Agritourism Week is a voluntary task. However, CTA and SPC will be covering the cost of travel, accommodation, food and daily subsistence allowances for the 8 selected on-site social reporters. This opportunity forms part of both CTA’s and SPC’s strategy to support the youth by involving them in its activities and building their capacity.

Selection criteria for social reporters

On-site Reporters:

  • Be a National of a Pacific ACP country (* See below, list of Pacific ACP countries);
  • Be aged between 18 and 35 years;
  • Be involved in agriculture, agribusiness, agritourism, information and communication, knowledge management or related fields;
  • Proven basic skills in the use of social media for reporting;
  • Be competent in the use of English language;
  • Be a good communicator and commit to contribute actively to the Social Reporting Team before and during the Agritourism Week;
  • Be in position to take along a WIFI-enabled laptop to the training and the Agri-Tourism Week;
  • Available to attend the social reporting training workshop and the Pacific Community Agritourism Week in Fiji from 27 June – 03 July 2015;
  • Be in possession of a passport with a validity date at least six months beyond the Agri-Tourism Week (at least until January 2016). Note: This criterion is not applicable to Nationals of Fiji

Note: Selected participants should have their own laptop and at least a camera (or mobile phone with built-in camera)

Online Reporters

  • There is no restriction on the age and country for remote social reporters
  • Being part of the team will provide various networking and capacity building opportunities.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying, please complete this online form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/application-Pacific-SR

Note: All candidates interested in being part of the social reporting team (both on-site and online) have to complete the application form.

Please submit your application by 14 June, 2015 (23:59 CEST)

The 8 selected social reporters will be notified by 16 June 2015 receiving a confirmation letter. The other applicants will also be notified about the outcome of their application and informed about the modalities to contribute to the social reporting team remotely.

Contact

This activity is coordinated by CTA (through the ARDYIS Project) and SPC. Further information or clarification can be directed by email to the ARDYIS project team at ardyis-project@cta.int with “Pacific Community AgriTourism Week 2015 Social Reporting” as subject line. Should you have any further regarding the Pacific Community Agritourism week, please contact Ms Anju Mangal - anjum@spc.int

List of Pacific ACP Countries

Cook Islands - Fiji - Kiribati - Marshall Islands - Federated States of Micronesia - Nauru - Niue - Palau - Papua New Guinea - Solomon Islands - Samoa - Tonga - Tuvalu - Vanuatu.


Download this announcement in PDF version: Call for social reporters

]]> Others Tue, 09 Jun 2015 06:28:37 +0000 Survey on young farmers and young agricultural entrepreneurs in the ACP http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/264-youth-farmer-survey http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/264-youth-farmer-survey

CTA has launched an online survey to have baseline information on the current uses, challenges and opportunities of ICTs for young farmers/young agro-entrepreneurs in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP). The survey is also part of a CTA contribution to a forthcoming report of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and partners on youth in agriculture in Africa.

The survey targets, and can be filled out only by:

  • young farmers or young agro-entrepreneurs (aged between 15 and 35 years old);
  • representatives of farmer organisations or representatives of organisations that support young farmers and young agro-entrepreneurs (these institutions are requested to fill out the questionnaire based on their knowledge of young farmers/agro-entrepreneurs issues)

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Young-Farmer-ICT

Kindly share this information with young farmers/agro-entrepreneurs who can fill out the form or who you may help to fill it out. 

It takes about 12 minutes to complete the questionnaire. The deadline is 14 May 2015.

A report will be published and we hope results will help CTA (and other institutions) to better plan ICT support/initiatives that can better enhance activities of young farmers and agro-entrepreneurs. The list of farmer organisations or institutions supporting young farmers/young agro-entrepreneurs that will fill out the form (if they provide their contact details) will be included in the report.

Thank you for your support,
CTA ARDYIS Project Team

]]> Others Wed, 06 May 2015 09:42:14 +0000 Event: ICT use to attract Young to a profitable agriculture, 25 September 2014, Rome, Italy http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/245-event-ict-use-to-attract-young-to-a-profitable-agriculture-25-september-2014-rome-italy http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/245-event-ict-use-to-attract-young-to-a-profitable-agriculture-25-september-2014-rome-italy

Date: 25 September 2014

Time:
15:30 - 17:00 (GMT+2)

Venue:
Oval Room

Presentations:
by IICD and CTA

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (
IFAD) is organising a meeting on "ICT use to attract Young to a profitable agriculture" on 25th September 2014 in Rome, Italy.

Some of the key questions to be addressed during the meeting are:

How can we use ICTs to attract young people to farming? What impact does the use of ICTs have on young rural people and their communities? How can access to ICTs change the image of farming and improve the social status of young people? What are the different services offered by ICTs to and by young farmers and service providers?

To share their experiences on this subject, the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) have been invited to make a presentation. The presentations will be followed by a technical discussion to improve a concept note drafted by IICD.

You may follow this event via webcast: http://webcasting.ifad.org/ict4youth

Find all the tweets from the event on this Storify Page compiled by IFAD: Tweets from "ICT use to attract Young to a profitable agriculture"

]]> Others Wed, 24 Sep 2014 10:07:21 +0000 e-Debate: Youth sustaining family farming through ICTs http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/244-e-debate-youth-sustaining-family-farming-through-icts http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/244-e-debate-youth-sustaining-family-farming-through-icts

Background

2014 has been proclaimed as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF). Family farming includes all family-based agricultural activities, and it is linked to several areas of rural development.

Since the beginning of agriculture, family farming has been contributing significantly to food and nutrition security globally. Indeed, 70% of global food supply comes from more than 500 million family farms, which are supporting rural employment in many countries (FAO, 2014).

If the contribution of family farming is so important for food security, improving livelihoods and management of natural resources, how is the lack of youth interest and involvement in agriculture affecting the sustainability and survival of family farms? What are the challenges being faced by youth involved in family farming? What should be the recommendations and action points to support and encourage the use of ICTs by youth for the sustainability of family farming?

In the context of the International Year of Family Farming, and in the framework of its
ARDYIS project, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the African Youth Foundation (AYF) is organising an e-debate on Youth sustaining family farming through ICTs.

Objectives

The objectives of this e-debate are to:

  • Raise youth awareness on the role and contribution of family farming for food & nutrition security and youth/rural employment;
  • Discuss the involvement of youth in family farming, the opportunities in this area, and the challenges faced;
  • Discuss and explore how ICTs can further strengthen the engagement of youth, including young women, in family farming;
  • Contribute to the celebration of the International Year of Family Farming.

For this e-debate, we are looking for strong recommendations and action points to be taken into consideration by different stakeholders involved (including CTA), which can contribute in strengthening the engagement of youth in family farming through ICTs.

Target audience

The primary target group for this e-debate are youths (15 to 35 years) interested or involved in family farming and the use of ICTs for agriculture. Organisations supporting youth in agriculture, especially on family farming, are also targeted. Finally, any person or organisation interested or working in this area is most welcomed to join the debate.

Where and When

The e-debate will take place from 22nd September to 7th October 2014 on the discussion group of the ARDYIS (Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society) project: http://dgroups.org/groups/youth

Themes

Each week, the e-debate will be focused on a specific theme and questions.

Week 1: Understanding the concept of family farming and youths’ roles and involvement in family farms

  • Question 1: What is family farming and how does it differ from industrial agriculture? How are youth engaged in family farming and what are their specific roles and profiles? (22 - 23 September 2014)

  • Question 2: What opportunity can family farming represent for youth? What challenges are youth involved in family farming facing, especially young girls/women and those living in rural areas? (24 - 26 September 2014)

Week 2: The use of ICTs to strengthen link between youth and family farming

  • Question 3: ICTs help promote youth involvement in agriculture by enhancing their opportunities, motivations and capacities. ICTs also contribute to improving youth livelihoods, agricultural modernisation and creating benefits throughout value chains. Taking into consideration the specific challenges faced by youth in family farming, how can we make better use of ICTs to address these issues? Do we have examples of projects/initiatives in this area? (29 September - 01 October 2014)

  • Question 4: Given the key role that youth play as intermediary between the elderly members in the family farm and other stakeholders along the value chain, how do we further strengthen their engagement in family farming through the use of ICTs? What should be the role(s) of the different stakeholders involved? What recommendations do we have? (02 - 03 October 2014)

Week 3:  Conclusions and recommendations

A review on the key points discussed throughout the debate will be done. Participants will also be invited share their final ideas, recommendations and action points to wrap-up the discussions. (06 - 07 October 2014)

Language

The e-debate will take place in English.

Facilitators

Dr. Paulyn Jansen and Ms. Phillen Maqhuzu, AYF

Subject Matter Experts

The following subject matter experts will contribute to the debate and answer youth’s queries:

  • Mr. Daniel Asare-Kyei, Agricultural economist, ICT for Agribusiness expert and PhD Researcher, United Nations University - Germany
  • Dr. Olu Ajayi, Senior Programme Coordinator (ARD Policy), CTA
  • Ms. Anne-Laure Roy, Technical Advisor – Youth Focal Point, IFAD
  • Mr. Moses Nganwani Tia, Executive Director, Savannah Young Farmers Network (Ghana), and winner of Best Blog on Family Farming (Institutional Category), YoBloCo Awards
  • Mr. Inoussa Maiga, Director, MEDIAPROD and winner of Best Blog on Family Farming (Individual Category), YoBloCo Awards
  • Mr. David Dolly, University of the West Indies
  • Ms. Jennifer Maynard, Caribbean Agricultural Extension Provider's Network - CAEPNet

Reference documents

See the Introductory Note on the debate.

Synthesis

After the event, a synthesis report of the e-debate will be prepared and shared with different partners working with CTA on Family Farming on the occasion of the World Food Day 2014 on 16th October.

The outputs from this e-debate will also feed into the online Forum on "communication for development and ICTs for family farming", organised by the e-agriculture community to inform the Forum on Communication for Development & Community Media for Family Farming (FCCM), to be held within the framework of the International Year of Family Farming, on 23 - 24 October 2014 in Rome, Italy.

Join the debate

To follow or take part in the e-debate, interested participants have to be subscribed on the ARDYIS Dgroup. If not yet subscribed, kindly go to this link http://dgroups.org/groups/youth and register or send an email to ardyis-project@cta.int.

More Information

The objectives of the ARDYIS thematic e-debate series are to:

  • support knowledge building of young people on ICT for agriculture issues;
  • support their professional engagement in agriculture value chains;
  • facilitate networking and the sharing of youth experiences on ARD and ICT within the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions.

The ARDYIS project is an initiative by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). It aims to raise youth awareness and capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries through ICTs. It is implemented in collaboration with an Advisory Committee which comprises FARA, AYF, CAFAN, SPC-PAFPNet, Yam-Pukri, ANAFE

More information on our activities: Dgroup - Facebook - Twitter - Linkedin - Storify

Download this announcement in pdf version: e-Debate: Youth sustaining family farming through ICTs

]]> Others Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:15:34 +0000 New technologies and young talent http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/231-new-technologies-and-young-talent http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/231-new-technologies-and-young-talent



Young people in ACP countries are seldom attracted into agriculture. In organising its first ‘hackathon’, CTA offered young graduate computer programming development enthusiasts an opportunity to flaunt their talents and discover potential openings in the agricultural sector.

Strengthening agricultural productivity and improving livelihoods of youths are two of CTA’s major targets and also the principles underpinning the ‘hackathon’ that was organised during the ICT4Ag international conference held in Kigali in November 2013. A hackathon is an event during which computer programmers (and development stakeholders when required) collaborate for a short period in developing an ICT application or platform to solve a specific issue. The aim of the Kigali event was to highlight the potential of new technologies applied to agriculture while supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly among young people. 

Software to facilitate access to credit and test soil fertility

The hackathon was implemented as a regional championship (with national selection events) for young computer specialists. From the outset, ICT innovation hubs have been sponsoring these young people and have since supported the winners of the competition. The winning entrepreneurs were from Ensibuuko (Uganda), AgriVAS (Ethiopia) and Agrinfo (Tanzania). The winners developed web and mobile software to enable innovative farm credit management, a platform for sending agricultural information by SMS in the national language, and a farmland mapping system. Another team developed a tool to test soil fertility with a pH sensor, with the results subsequently sent to agricultural extension agents by SMS. Inspired by this hackathon, Rwandan authorities have decided to organise a national event.

Promotion of young entrepreneurs and incubation opportunities

Hackathon follow-up activities have now begun. CTA subsidises ICT innovation hubs that have backed the regional winners. The young entrepreneurs are now being supported in launching their product, benefiting from advice or training, while also being put in touch with investors. These talented young people will also participate in international meetings to build up their professional networks and knowledge. Some will also participate in the CTA Fin4Ag international conference on agricultural value chain finance. A national workshop on the local hackathon experience will take place in Rwanda by June 2014, with the support of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. CTA plans to organise a regional planning meeting for the entire activity by July 2014.

The success of this initiative has attracted the interest of other ACP regions, whose representatives have been approaching CTA for advice and support. We will keep you posted…

* To find out more, see the hackathon blog: http://hackathon.ict4ag.org

Article originally published in CTA's SPORE Magazine.

]]> Others Wed, 14 May 2014 14:33:47 +0000 e-Debate: Enhancing Young Women’s engagement in ICT and Agriculture http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/228-e-debate-enhancing-young-women’s-engagement-in-ict-and-agriculture http://ardyis.cta.int/en/activities/others/item/228-e-debate-enhancing-young-women’s-engagement-in-ict-and-agriculture

Background

In 2011, the International Communication Union (ITU) launched the “Girls and ICT Day” to celebrate girls’ interests and strengths in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and to encourage them to choose a career in this area. Since then, it is being celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April, through different events organised globally. In this context and in the framework of its ARDYIS project, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the African Youth Foundation (AYF) is organising an e-debate on Enhancing Young Women engagement in ICT and Agriculture.

Objectives

The objectives of this e-debate are to:

  • Discuss the objectives and the use of ICT by young girls and women in the agricultural sector and share experiences from various ACP countries;
  • Discuss the opportunities, challenges faced and perspectives regarding the use of ICT by young women in agriculture or ICT entrepreneurs offering services for the agricultural sector;
  • Contribute to the celebration of the International Girls in ICT Day.

Target audience

The primary target group for this e-debate are youths (15 to 35 years) interested or involved in ICT or Agriculture, especially young girls and women. This includes women agropreneurs and women developing ICT solutions for agriculture. Organisations supporting young women in these activities are also targeted. Finally, any person or organisation interested or working in this area is most welcomed to join the debate. 

Where and When

The e-debate will take place from 16 April – 07 May 2014 on the discussion group of the ARDYIS (Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society) project: http://dgroups.org/groups/youth

Themes

Each week, the e-debate will be focused on a specific theme and questions.

Week 1: Understanding the use of ICTs in agricultural activities by young girls and women

  • Question 1: How are young girls and women using ICTs in Agriculture? What are the tools used? For what purposes? What is the profile of the young women using ICTs in agriculture? (16 – 17 April 2014)
  • Question 2: What are the challenges being faced by young girls and women in using ICT in agriculture, especially those living in rural areas? What information gaps do we have in this area and how can we bridge these gaps? What examples of national or regional projects supporting the use of ICT by young girls and women involved agriculture do we have? (18 – 22 April 2014)

Week 2: The use of ICTs for entrepreneurship by young women in Agriculture

  • Question 3: Are young agricultural women entrepreneurs using ICTs in Agriculture to enhance their business? For which specific activities? Is it limited to using mobile phones or there are other channels used? (23 – 27 April 2014)
  • Question 4: What challenges do women entrepreneurs face when using ICTs in Agriculture? How can these challenges be addressed so that more women entrepreneurs make use of ICTs?  How can they better use these tools in agri-business? Do we know projects or programmes supporting these kinds of activities? (28 – 29 April 2014)

Week 3 : Supporting women developing ICT applications for Agriculture

  • Question 5: Young women from different ACP countries and regions are developing ICT applications for Agriculture. What examples do we have? What are the challenges faced? Are there more opportunities in this area? How do we increase our support to young women providing solutions for agriculture and address the challenges faced? Do we know projects or programmes supporting these kinds of activities? (30 April – 02 May 2014)

Week 3:  Conclusions and recommendations

Firstly, participants will be invited to share information on activities they might have implemented in the framework of the International Girls and ICT day. A review on the key points discussed throughout the debate will then be done. Participants will share their final ideas and recommendations to wrap-up the discussions. (05 - 07 May 2014)

Language

The e-debate will take place in English.

Facilitators

Ms. Twaambo Kapilishika - Dr. Paulyn Jansen, African Youth Foundation

Subject Matter Experts

The following subject matter experts will contribute to the debate and answer youth’s queries:

  • Dhlamini Nodumo, Programme Manager - Information, Communication & Knowledge Management, RUFORUM
  • Maureen Agena, Communication Consultant - ICT, Youth, Agriculture
  • Tarikua G. Woldetsadick, Programme Coordinator (Jr), CTA
  • Isaac Damptey, International Consultant, Women in Global Science and Technology (WISAT) & Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World
  • Soyanni Holness, Jamaica, Caribbean Farmers Network (CAFAN)
  • Representative from Akirachix (TBC)

Reference documents

See the Introductory Note on the debate

Synthesis

A synthesis report of the e-debate will be prepared in English and French after the event and shared, including with ITU.

Join the debate

To follow or take part in the e-debate, interested participants have to be subscribed on the ARDYIS Dgroup. If not yet subscribed, kindly go to this link http://dgroups.org/groups/youth and register or send an email to ardyis-project@cta.int.


Mark your calendar and join us for this first e-debate series of the ARDYIS project!

More Information

The objectives of the ARDYIS thematic e-debate series are to:

  • support knowledge building of young people on ICT for agriculture issues;
  • support their professional engagement in agriculture value chains;
  • facilitate networking and the sharing of youth experiences on ARD and ICT within the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions.

The ARDYIS project is an initiative by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). It aims to raise youth awareness and capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries through ICTs. It is implemented in collaboration with an Advisory Committee which comprises FARA, AYF, CAFAN, SPC-PAFPNet, Yam-Pukri, ANAFE

More information on our activities: Dgroup - Facebook - Twitter - Linkedin - Storify

Download this announcement in pdf version: e-Debate: Enhancing Young Women’s engagement in ICT and Agriculture

Download the Report of the e-Debate here: http://bit.ly/1qgnQFr

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