Co-hosted by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) CTA and the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), the international conference ICT4ag offers participants the opportunity to discover opportunities and information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the field of agriculture. 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 improved value chains as well as more effective advocacy and policy processes in agricultural and rural development. In addition, they will share ideas and knowledge, and discuss new approaches, best practices and experiences. Issues related to ICT trends and their impact on agriculture, capacity building, enabling environments, scaling up, and sustainability will also be discussed.
According to the organisers, this will be a compelling, exciting and "out-of-the-box" event, offering participants creative and innovative learning thus equipping them to better influence future agricultural and rural development activities using the new ICTs. Potential session formats include getting hands-on with the technologies, peer assists, open space, world café, fishbowl sessions, market stalls and booths, posters (both electronic and print), workshops, exhibitions, field trips, and short presentation sessions.
The conference consists of three streams:
- Emerging Innovations: Within this stream, participants will examine topics such as the identification of mobile apps and ICT solutions along the value chain and the changing architecture of agricultural extension and rural advisory services in the age of ICTs and mobile technologies. From a business perspective, other areas of discussion could include the use of ICTs to enhance and monitor agricultural processes in order to boost access to markets and facilitate agribusiness.
- Capacity Strengthening: Topics such as ICTs as enablers of communication, exchange of information and resources among the value chain actors, and the empowerment of youth through ICTs for efficient and effective agricultural and rural development activities are just some examples of what will be addressed during the conference. Other areas of discussion could include: gender mainstreaming through ICTs for efficient and effective agricultural activities; monitoring and assessing the impacts of ICTs for agricultural and rural development projects and programmes; and capacity building models and approaches.
- Enabling Environments: The third stream will encourage participants to delve into issues around: agricultural policies, ICT policies, and e-agriculture policies; infrastructural considerations (ICT and facilities: electricity, markets, roads, etc.); and opportunities for multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSP) and public-private partnerships.
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Conference fees range from EUR275 to EUR555 for the full three-day conference, with other rates for field trips and other activities. The fees include conference materials, coffee breaks, and luncheons, and do not include accommodation or travel costs.
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