The annual ICT4D Conferences have proven to be an invaluable opportunity for NGOs, private sector organizations, universities, governmental agencies and foundations to share their experience in using ICT to increase the impact of development programs and to learn from each other.  In 2016, 715 individuals from 76 countries and 301 private sector and public sector and civil society explored the ways to harness the full power of digital solutions to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.  Our thanks to Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Inmarsat, IS Solutions, Making All Voices Count, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio, Qualcom Wireless Reach, RTI International, SimbaNet and World Vision for making that possible.

Wednesday, May 18 • 08:00 - 08:45
Partnerships to Realize a Digital Revolution in Agriculture in Service of Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals before 2030

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With the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015, agriculture is recognized as contributing significantly to most of these goals. The agricultural sector is confronted with the major challenge of increasing the production of nutritious food to address food security, malnutrition and environmental sustainability against the backdrop of climate change, decreasing availability of natural resources and an aging demographic of farmers. Convergence of stakeholders along value chains for agriculture, ICT, finance and education sectors will be critical for us to realize the SDGs.

Agriculture is a data-intensive enterprise when one considers soil variability, moisture and nutrient levels, rainfall variability, timing of key operations like planting and harvesting, and market price volatility. Advanced agriculture industries help farmers manage these production and market risks through the application of spatial/temporal databases that are cloud enabled and integrated through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This creates a rich and dynamic data ecosystem that enables advanced analytics to inform farmers of the best economic options to maximize profitability and minimize risk – the two critical variables farmers around the globe need to manage. Digital agriculture is a powerful tool to help farmers.

Digital agriculture can be defined as ICT and data ecosystems to support the development and delivery of timely, targeted (localized) information and services to make farming profitable and sustainable (socially, economically and environmentally) while delivering safe, nutritious and affordable food for ALL. The key components to support the implementation of digital agriculture are Smart Development Infrastructure (SDI) and low-cost smart phones and tablets to support bi-directional flow of data and information to rural consumers. SDI has been the key driver in supporting modern farming in USA, Australia and Europe as well as emerging economies of China and Brazil.
To realize the promise of prosperity to smallholder farmers through digital agriculture, a wide range of partners will be required. Requirements of farmers and consumers need to be captured to support demand-driven innovation. Stakeholders along the value chain from basic to adaptive research on improved seed and agronomic practices are required to increase productivity. Modern knowledge management systems and service providers are required to translate these inputs into realized productivity increases. Storage providers and processors need to be integrated to create the market incentives for farmers to adopt improved technologies. Policy makers need to create an enabling environment for all stakeholders to support the migration from subsistence to commercially viable agriculture and food systems that deliver safe, nutritious and affordable food for all. This diverse panel of public and private sector stakeholders will offer their perspective on the challenges and opportunities for digital agriculture to lift farm families out of poverty and support sustainable food systems around the world.

avatar for Dr. David Bergvinson

Dr. David Bergvinson

Director General, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
David joined ICRISAT in January 2015 to lead its strategy development to ensure science, demand-driven innovation and strategic partnerships come together to translate science into prosperity for rural families in the dryland tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining... Read More →

avatar for Willy Bett

Willy Bett

Cabinet Secretary, Republic of Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries
Willy Kipkorir Bett is the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. By the time of his appointment to the Cabinet, Mr. Bett was serving as the Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Seed Company, a position he held for six years (2009-2015). During his tenure... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Shaun Ferris

Dr. Shaun Ferris

Director, Agricultural Livelihoods, Catholic Relief Services
Dr. Shaun Ferris has worked for the past 10 years for Catholic Relief Services (CRS). In his current position, Shaun focuses on supporting smallholder farmers along the pathway to prosperity, as part of CRS’ Signature Program Area for Agriculture. His work at CRS also focuses on... Read More →
avatar for Janet Mumo

Janet Mumo

CEO, Kitui Development Centre
Janet Syombua Mumo facilitated the establishment of the Kitui Development Centre (KDC).  This center was registered in December 2001 as a local Non-profit making organization under the NGO coordination act of 1990 to work in Kitui district. In January 2010, KDC received a permit... Read More →
avatar for Zebby B. A. Simiyu

Zebby B. A. Simiyu

Executive Director, Good Neighbors Community Development Initiative (GNCDI)
Zebby Simiyu is working for Good Neighbours Community Development Initiative (GNCDI) based in Bungoma County with farmer groups, individuals, institution in promoting production and marketing of Horticultural Crops and Macadamia nuts. Good Neighbours Community Programme (GNCP... Read More →

Wednesday May 18, 2016 08:00 - 08:45
Jambo Conference Centre

Attendees (184)