Using ICT to develop the agricultural sector

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Using ICT to develop the agricultural sector

On the heels of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) training workshop for the agricultural sector, ICT officials assert the value of ICT to the development of the sector.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation of the EU-ACP (CAT), in collaboration with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries and Rural Development and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) hosted a five day web 2.0 learning opportunity for Saint Lucia last week.

Trainer and Business Development Consultant, Kelly-Ann Phillips, says progress in agriculture must be tied to exploiting the diverse opportunities provided by ICT.

“Traditionally, Agriculture is not a sector that was associated with technology per se. As technology consultants we see that the development of every sector is dependent on ICT we have seen ways that farmers and persons in agriculture can benefit from technology. So thats why we’re expanding it to the agricultural sector as well, to let people know how you can leverage technology even in the field of agriculture to make your business more productive,” she said.

The use of ICT in agriculture has been making waves in developing countries, especially in Africa, where mobile phone applications are used by farmers to receive pertinent information and exchange best practices with each other.

One such application is the iCow application in Kenya used by small scale dairy farmers to track animals gestation periods, and get information on feeding and milking practices, veterinary and other agricultural services available in their communities.

Mrs Phillips says the web 2.0 training in Saint Lucia will introduce stakeholders to a number of internet applications to build synergies and accelerate business.

“In one case, I remember one individual from an agricultural institution, he was able-actually in the last web 2.0 session that we did- he was able to put up a blog, and he put up all the information of his organisation up online, and by the end of the training he had a couple hundred persons visiting the site to see what’s it about. So that’s one application of the success of Web 2.0 to persons in the agricultural sector.”

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