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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

Exploring the Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Agriculture Research

More and more Information and Communication Technologies (ITCs) are being used as integrating and enabling technologies for agriculture research; and for the OPEC funded project, Climate Smart Technologies and Practices: Using Science Knowledge and Expert Feedback to Accelerate Local Adoption, this is no exception.

Exploring the transformative role of ICT

Understanding and addressing agriculture developments within the context of changing climate are critical for building smallholder farmers’ resilience to climate variability, and for improving their livelihoods. Here, ICT can play a major role. The fusion of ICT into agriculture research as a farm participatory monitoring and evaluation tool presents many opportunities for researchers to identify, test and implement locally appropriate CSA practices.

Training of researcher on the use of the tool

Researchers test GPS recording device before going to the field to register GPS location of soil samples collected for analysis. Photo: T. Benjamin (CIAT)


In Lushoto, Tanzania, CIAT’s researchers, Nicholas Koech and Isaac Savini, and CIAT’s partner, George Sayula of Selian Agricultural Research Institute in Arusha, demonstrated the transformative role of ICT in agriculture research. Researchers through the use of ICT technologies, GPS recording device and tablet, recorded:
• Information and registered GPS coordinates of farms for demonstration plots of CSA practices; and
• GPS coordinates of soil samples collected for analysis and for building maps. With this information, researchers are better able to understand the dynamics of soil within the landscape and to develop strategies to adapt and mitigate climate change.

ICT also provides new opportunities for engagement, participation and learning. “Think of farmers as local agriculture experts, the combination of their locally defined priorities and local perspectives and researchers’ science knowledge promises great result in accelerating local adoption,” stated Anton Eitzinger, Policy Analysis CIAT, Colombia. With ICT farmers no longer assume the passive role of project beneficiaries instead; farmers are given the opportunity to co-construct research through partnership.

It’s a win win situation for both farmers and researchers. Opening the channels for information and communication to flow enable researchers to work more efficiently and to maximize productivity; and for farmers to not only benefit from the developments made in agriculture research but to be empowered to actively improve their circumstances.

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