A global conference on Information Communication and Technology for Agriculture (ICT4Ag) kicked off today in Kigali Rwanda with participants discussing how agriculture can be developed with the use of ICT.
The conference brings together farming, fisheries and livestock experts who wil participate in the discovery of new innovations, learning about useful technology and sharing experiences with global stakeholders.
Representing the public and private sector in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific and further afield, delegates will discuss how increased investment and adoption of ICTs in the agricultural sector will contribute to improve value chains and more effective advocacy and policy processes in agricultural and rural development (ARD).
The conference comes at a time when African leaders and stakeholders recently met in Kigali at the Transform Africa summit in which a new SmartAfrica manifesto was adapted putting ICT at the centre of the continent’s socio-economic development agenda.
In the manifesto, the African leaders agreed to facilitate innovation and the creation of content and applications that are context-appropriate, development-oriented and scalable to deliver social and economic benefits in Education, Healthcare, Business, Agriculture and other key sectors.
President Paul Kagame has been at the frontier of promoting ICT in the country and today farmers in Rwanda use ICT initiatives to access information and knowledge on market prices through the e-Soko program.
e-Soko, a system that can be consulted via mobile phone or computer, gives information on market prices, making it easier for buyers to decide where to make their purchase at a lower price, while the sellers use it to determine where to sale their produce at the best price.
Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana says that farmers in Rwanda want to know how they can use new and existing ICT tools to boost their production. He believes that new ICT initiatives can support the entire chain in the agriculture process.
On the other hand the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Agnes Kalibata says that more solutions will be introduced to boost the agriculture sector in Rwanda; and the youth will be able to bring new ideas which will be very useful to the whole of Africa.