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October 17, 2017 9:00am
U.S. Eastern Time


October 17, 2017 10:00am
U.S. Eastern Time

Provided by:

NetHope's ICT4D Webinar Series

ICT4Ag: The New Technologies That Will Achieve Food Security

This webinar, part of an ongoing series around ICT4D, explores new ICT innovations, and discuss the challenges of acceptance and distribution of those technologies in agricultural programs.

View the webinar recording below that includes an extensive Q&A session. After viewing the webinar recording, please fill out our webinar evaluation form.

This webinar, part of an ongoing series around ICT4D, explores new ICT innovations, and discuss the challenges of acceptance and distribution of those technologies in agricultural programs.

Information Technology supports new methods for precision agriculture, better monitoring and controlling of soil, plants and livestock, or access to online markets, and most importantly improved communication. ICT tools can empower farmers to become more adaptive to (climate) change. ICT has become a bridge for people from all over the globe and a significant factor of increased agricultural productivity, and food security.

This webinar's expert panel will give new insights on how to decide which ICT technologies to prioritize in your programs. We will consider research and big data, push vs pull technologies, user-friendly designs and sustainability, and help you understand factors that influence the adoption of technology.

Discussion Agenda

Overview of New ICT Technologies for Agriculture
This presentation will give a brief overview of technology trends, distinguish between reality and hype, and explore how to best introduce those in your agriculture programs, particularly drawing examples from the use of UAVs.

New ICT Technologies for Agriculture
This presentation will introduce two new user-focused innovations and explore how to best introduce those in your agriculture programs: Facebook Messenger chatbot extension services for smallholder farmers and mobile bids/offers platforms which integrate directly with mobile money services.

Lessons Learned from the Field
Successful agriculture programs using ICT technologies have been designed and implemented with the user in mind. Drawing from first-hand field experience this contribution will explore how to find a balance between technologies requested by the user and those introduced by the organization (push vs pull); why going beyond technologies is crucial and how to combine new innovations with actionable information.

Using Big Data to Improve ICT4Ag Programs and Their Sustainability
The CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture provides actionable open-access, data-driven insights for stakeholders. This presentation will demonstrate ways in which big data can transform smallholder agriculture, enabling farmers to boost food production and respond to pressing challenges such as climate change.

Q&A and Panel Discussion:

  • How to successfully integrate research and policy in the development program?
  • What are the most common implementation challenges of ICT4D programs in the agricultural sector? How to overcome those?
  • What ICT4D technologies should be introduced first for better acceptance?
  • What is the real promise of data-driven agriculture and its practical challenges?
  • Discussing sustainability and capacity building: What happens if the project is over? 
Sonja Ruetzel, ICT4D Conference Manager, Catholic Relief Services
Dr. Kathryn Clifton, ICT4D Knowledge Management and Communication's Specialist at Catholic Relief Services
Alice Van der Elstraeten, Information Management Specialist, e-Agriculture Team, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Jacob Korenblum, CEO, Souktel Digital Solutions
Brian King, Coordinator, CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture at International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

About the speakers:

Dr. Kathryn Clifton is fostering new approaches to ICT4D at CRS, documenting learning, and assisting in communications. Prior to this role Kathryn worked in implementing technology in agriculture programming in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. She has worked with Texas A & M University, the FAO, the CGIAR, and CRS.  She is passionate about sustainable business models and approaches.  

Jacob Korenblum
Souktel is a global tech firm that builds custom digital solutions for international development projects with a focus on the agriculture sector. From hubs in the Middle East and North America, Souktel has empowered 500,000+ community members by serving the projects of 30+ leading funders and implementers—including USAID, the US State Department, and DFID. Previously, Jacob led impact evaluations of agriculture projects for Oxfam Great Britain and Oxfam International, focusing on cotton value chains in India, maize value chains in Malawi, and dairy market access in Haiti. Jacob is a frequent speaker on digital tech and international development; he has also written articles on technology and emerging markets for MIT’s Innovations Journal and CNBC Online. Jacob holds an Ed.M. degree from Harvard University, where he also served as a Reynolds Foundation Fellow in Social Enterprise.

Alice Van der Elstraeten worked as a Knowledge Management and Gender Officer for FAO, first in Niger, then in Rome and in Geneva. During those years she became more and more involved in the e-Agriculture Community of Practice. She facilitated the Community, worked on the organization of online discussion forums and worked on several papers on the topic of ICTs for agriculture, with a specific focus on gender issues. Alice recently moved to Panama, where she continues to support the Community. Before FAO, Alice worked for more than 5 years in Central Africa (mainly DRC, Burundi, Rwanda) as the Coordinator of the Information and Communications Department of the Congolese Ministry of Agriculture; as the Great Lakes Coordinator for Search for Common Ground and as a Communications Specialist for IFDC (International Fertilizer Development Center). She has a Masters degree in Anthropology and a Bachelors degree in Philosophy and Communications.

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