The 2008 Tech for Food forum at the Paris Agriculture Show on February 26 was an occasion for actors from the global North and South to discuss the use of ICTs (information and communication technologies) in agriculture in developing countries.
The working session in the morning was devoted to market information systems (MIS). A brief overview of the subject by Eric Pasquati (FARM Foundation) was followed by a presentation of the platform Infoshare by Alexandra Laurent (UNCTAD) and a presentation of TradeNet by Patrice Annequin (IFDC). Participants were asked to address four points related to the prospects of MIS :
accessibility and dissemination of information
information exchanged and services offered
adapting MIS to local socio-cultural realities
The conclusions reached can be summarised as follows :
The morning program of the Tech for Food forum also included two workshops : innovative technologies in the service of water management ; and space-based techniques for serving developing countries.
The afternoon program was comprised of four presentations followed by discussion :
Olivier Longué (Action Against Hunger, Spain) described a project that uses PDAs to bolster the reliability, rapidity, and precision of nutritional diagnoses of the situation of populations in Lesotho ;
Edgardo Herbosa (b2bPriceNow) presented his project of virtual markets in the Philippines that enables farmers to bypass banking services ;
Norbert Niedhauser (International Center for Tropical Agriculture) presented an alliance project of crop diversification in Colombia which has enabled small coffee growers to diversify their production through networking among actors ;
Leon Van Mullekom (BASF) discussed a BASF project on tracing residues in grapes via the Internet, PDAs and cell phones for greater reactivity to the market.
The closing event of the Forum was the signing of a partnership agreement between the not-for-profit organisation Territories of Tomorrow (represented by André Loechel), the Europe-Afrique Institute (Ibrahim Key) and representatives of the Senegalese government for developing the digitisation of civil records in Senegal.
For further information : www.techforfood.com