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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

e-Agriculture, solution to world food crises

 A forum co-convened by the United Nations (UN’s) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has hinted that guidelines to improve the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in agriculture, NaijaAgroNet learnt.

This according to FAO officials have gains which could bring innovation in agricultural technology, ensure more efficient food production, mitigate food losses and attract the younger generation to become successful farmers – are close at hand,

FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Hiroyuki Konuma, told NaijaAgroNet in a press statement that the applications of validated e-Agriculture processes will be a great addition to innovative agricultural production, attract young generation in agriculture and help safeguard farmers from losses, especially small holders.

“These applications could range from a farmer using a smart phone to scan the barcode of a packet of certified seeds – something that could ensure quality and a fair price, to the installation of low-cost sensors at the village-level for hyper local weather information. The lack of available and correct information at the right time and in the right format is a major obstacle to many activities along the traditional agricultural value chain and this is something that e-Agriculture could help address efficiently,” he said.

Konuma also told NaijaAgroNet during the opening of an “e-Agriculture Stakeholders Consultation” attended by government officials and researchers, primarily from Asia, Africa and Near East to the three day event in the Thai capital, pointed out that the finalization of the e-Agriculture Strategy Guide and its applications for national context is ongoing.

“Countries have tried to implement e-Agriculture solutions in isolation,” Konuma pointed out. “This guide provides valuable guidelines and offers a template to implement sustainable e-Agriculture services.” Concerns over food losses due to natural disasters, or lack of timely information during planting or harvesting, along with increased pressure for food traceability – all offer entry points for the application of proven ICT interventions in agriculture

Konuma added the e-Agriculture Stakeholders Consultation is co-convened by FAO, ITU and CTA – the Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation

@Cyriacus Nnaji
Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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