Anne Sweetmore, ed.
Publication Date
October 16, 2009

This conference report describes The African, Caribbean, and Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)'s 2009 annual seminar, Brussels, Belgium, October 12- 16 2009. The conference was held in consideration that, in the ACP, the media, as stated here, need to provide more reliable, up-to-date information on development, particularly the consequences for development of food, economic, and financial crises, and should disseminate information appropriately to political decisionmakers and rural communities, among the most seriously affected by these crises. "The media have a role to play in funding and investment for agriculture. By creating greater awareness, they can encourage political decision-makers to become more actively involved in agricultural and rural innovation processes."

The conference used various communication technologies to include an array of one- and two-way media coverage including: discussions, a pre-seminar blog, a seminar website with a live blog, Web 2.0 tools such as a tag, a Twitter account, a community on the website LinkedIn, a Flickr photo and video sharing account, a webcast, a television programme, radio broadcasting, and print editions of the "Daily Digest", now available in PDF format in French and English at the website. “"The seminar blog content was also aggregated through the use of, which the team used to send content to other social networking sites, including Facebook, Yahoo! Mail, Google Mail, Flickr, Twitter and other social networking sites."

With these considerations and communication inputs and outputs as background, the conference objectives included:

  1. "contribute to formulating strategies to strengthen the media’s capacity to access and disseminate information on key questions related to agriculture in the ACP countries;
  2. improve communications between the media and other actors involved in agricultural and rural development;
  3. contribute to identifying support programmes for the media."



Themes included the following:

  • Media coverage of agricultural and rural development (ARD) issues
  • Communications between the media and other actors in ARD
  • The media and the funding of agricultural development
  • Media capacity-building
  • The role of new technologies in media development



As a result of recommendations by the conference participants, the CTA intends to:

  • "[D]evelop a media capacity-strengthening strategy that takes into account suggestions from the proposed list of actions...
  • [C]ollaborate with national and international institutions to involve the media more closely in the ACP development policy process and ARD programming...
  • Develop guidelines for media roles, responsibilities and relations with national and international research, education and extension agencies...
  • Use all its existing programmes to increase awareness among funding agencies about the support needed to act on suggested action plans for radio, television/ video/film and community media in the agricultural and rural sectors of ACP.
  • Direct increased support to community media in ARD.
  • As far as possible, ensure gender equality in capacity-building.
  • Promote information exchange throughout non-ARD media networks on successful practices and experiences in dealing with key ACP agricultural and rural issues, including climate change and food security."