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.

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Thursday, May 19 • 12:15 - 13:00
Harnessing Mobile Phones for Sustainable Development of Smallholder Agriculture FULL

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Mobile technologies facilitate networks of farmers and agribusiness, so that they can support each other. But the critical question is 'How best can this be done?' The initiative of using mobile technologies in agriculture is in its infancy stage in the world at large while in some developing countries it is already in use. The bulk of small scale farming systems in the developing world are very much limited in production and therefore inherently less profitable than they should be. The chief contributor to this is the far cry information and the necessary farming skills gap that hinder the embracing of available technologies and management practices According to (Silva, 2008) information asymmetry is a significant contributor to overall transaction costs. ICT is starting to influence the way agriculture is practised in the world (Maumbe, 2013.) For instance the bulk of the Zimbabwean population (67%) (Agency, 2012) live in the rural areas and heavily depends on farming activities for a living. In actual fact there is empirical evidence of urban to rural migration in Zimbabwe as confirmed by the census of 2012 (ibid). The smallholder farmers largely depend on agricultural activities for food and income for all their requirements which include paying school fees for children, buying farming implements for next season and housekeeping requirements. These smallholder farmers labor on their land but what is happening is that there are middlemen who are benefitting from these farmers' work as they prey on farmers poverty and bring second hand clothing and groceries to small holder farmers and take away the hard-earned farmers' produce as observed by this researcher in one area. There is need for boosting the performance of these Smallholder farmers as this result in the uplifting of the overall level of standards of living of Smallholder farmers and the development of the economy at large. This segment provides a source of living to 70+ percent of the Zimbabwean population and up to a third of the country's labor force is employed in the agricultural sector. The presenter will talk on ways of addressing the problems bedevilling Smallholder farmers in developing countries.

avatar for Samuel Musungwini

Samuel Musungwini

Samuel Musungwini was born in Shurugwi district in The Midlands Province in Zimbabwe. Samuel Musungwini is a lecturer at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. He is a holder of a BSc Hons Information Systems, MSc Information Systems Management and a Post Graduate Diploma in Tertiary... Read More →

Thursday May 19, 2016 12:15 - 13:00 EAT
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