It’s no secret that the agriculture space is a hot sector. At ID, we’re finding many opportunities that leverage mobile and information technology to improve efficiency for the small farmer. This Weekly Review features stories on the collaboration of technology and agriculture around the world.
“Unleashing Ugandan Farmers’ Potential Through Mobile Phones” by Kyla Yeoman on Global Envision
MobiPay Kenya has developed a unique application designed with small African farmers in mind. AgriLife, which recently went live in Uganda, provides two key services for farmers. First, AgriLife collects and analyzes data about the farmer’s production capability and history. Second, the platform can also serve as an integration point between the farmer and outside lenders or buyers. Check out the article to learn about AgriLife’s progress and pilot in Uganda.
“The Key’s in the Keyboard: New Technologies Can Help Enhance India’s Agricultural Productivity” by Abhilaksh Likhi on World Bank’s People, Spaces Deliberation Blog
Although millions of people in India rely on agriculture for livelihood, there are a number of major challenges, such as availability of natural resources and market information. Many of them can be overcome with mobile information and communication technologies. Public agriculture extension programs are popping up across the subcontinent and are wide-reaching thanks to the availability of mobile and ICT. For example, Microsoft Research started Digital Green, an initiative that provides video content for small farmers. Visit the World Bank’s blog to read about similar initiatives.
“The Moment is Now: Modernizing Food Assistance” by Nancy Lindborg on USAID Impact Blog
The global food supply is constantly shifting, and government policy must respond accordingly. The 2014 US Budget Proposal includes a bold vision for Food Aid Reform. The article discusses the ineffective practice of monetizing commodities for development programs. We’d like to see development agencies and governments increasing their dependence on technology solutions. At ID, we believe that mobile, information, and energy technologies have the biggest potential to ensure global food security and modernize food assistance.