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Friday, 24 September 2010 13:37

Pacific agriculture and forestry leaders encouraged to embrace ‘e-agriculture’

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Pacific Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services (HOAFS) were encouraged to embrace information and communications technology (ICT) and ‘e-agriculture’ in delivering products and services to stakeholders involved in the sector during the 4th HOAFS meeting in Nadi, Fiji Islands recently.

E-agriculture is the use of ICT to deliver services to the stakeholders of the agriculture sector. It is one of the key initiatives of the Framework for Action on ICT for Development in the Pacific (FAIDP), together with e-government, e-health and e-education.

Some of the FAIDP priorities were relevant to the agriculture and forestry sector, including: access to ICT in rural areas and remote islands, websites, telecentres/community learning centres, financial inclusion (e.g. transfer of funds via mobile phones), and linkages to the energy sector.

Anju Mangal of the Secretariat of Pacific Community (SPC) Land Resources Division (LRD) said that communication tools for sharing and disseminating relevant information to farmers and LRD stakeholders are imperative for the development of agriculture and forestry.

‘Some possible options include having websites/online content management systems and social networking and media tools such as blogs and wikis with up to date, relevant information to assist LRD stakeholders.

‘In addition, having access to the Internet provides LRD stakeholders with relevant agricultural information and facilitates better market access.‘Financial inclusion would also help revitalise rural development, as under such a programme farmers can receive payments via mobile phones,’ Ms Mangal said.

‘SPC approaches focused on the use of ICT and collaborative approaches to implement activities focussing on good practices and success stories and on the different policies that have an impact on agriculture/forestry activities,’ she said.Mr Siaosi Sovaleni of SPC added that having power in rural areas is essential for ICT development.

FAIDP was formulated in response to a call from Pacific leaders at the 40th Pacific Islands Forum in Cairns (August 2009) for the Pacific Plan Digital Strategy (PPDS) to be reviewed and updated.

This direction reaffirmed the continuing importance of ICT as a tool for development in the region and further supports the Wellington Declaration, in which ICT ministers declared, ‘We recognize that information and communication technologies (ICTs), while not an end in themselves, have a key role as a basis for economic development, while also promoting and enhancing social cohesion, cultural enrichment and environmental conservation’.



Read full story : See http://www.spc.int website

Source : See http://www.spc.int

Date : September 2010

Last modified on Friday, 24 September 2010 13:56


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