Information, Communications & Extension

The ICE thematic group contributes to achieving LRD objectives of improving food security and well-being of member countries by promoting innovative extension approaches to communicate information and promote new technologies for the sustainable management of agricultural and forest resources.

Strengthening ICT policy development and e-agriculture strategies in ACP Countries
Thursday, 09 May 2013 09:16

When it comes to discussing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy development and linkages with Agriculture, there’s still a lot to be done. ICT policies do not necessarily take into account the agricultural sector. At minimum, organisations and stakeholders tend to discuss the utilisation or application of ICT but there’s still lack of a coherent ICT strategy to contribute to agriculture and rural development.

The Technical Centre for Rural Cooperation and Agriculture (CTA), in collaboration with FAO, IICD and other development partners hosted the 2013 ICT Observatory meeting on strengthening e-agriculture strategies in ACP countries from 24 – 26 April, 2013 in Wageningen, Netherlands. The ICT Observatory is an instrument for discussions with CTA and partners on ICT strategies and applications of relevance to agricultural and rural development in the ACP region. This year the Observatory will focus on how to strengthen e-agriculture strategies and policies in ACP countries. Approximately 30 participants will take part representing farmers’ organisations, government institutions, regional and International organisation and private sector as well as from the ICT and agricultural sectors.

The CTA Director, Mr Michael Hailu during his opening speech said “policies guide decisions you want to achieve and strategies will help you achieve the objectives with allocated resources within an organisation”. He further elaborated, “ICT for agriculture strategies and policies are only useful if the countries see value”. “If countries do not see the need for policies and strategies, than we might have to change the approach and look at the different ways to use a successful experience to promote lessons.” 

Prior to this meeting, CTA organized an e-discussion to gather opinions and recommendations from a wide audience of global ICT and agriculture stakeholders and identify additional initiatives and issues that could be discussed. Mr Ken Lohento of CTA said, “One of the conclusions that came out of the discussions is that ICT for agriculture strategies help to rationalize resources and have a more holistic perspective on ICT issues, opportunities and challenges for the agricultural sector but these processes are not a pre-requisite for implementation of specific projects”.

Participants who attended the ICT observatory meeting participated in the online e-discussions and presented an overview in the area of ICT policy development and linkages with agriculture at the ICT observatory meeting.

Case studies of e-agriculture strategies, ICT applications and policy frameworks were presented by countries such as Fiji, PNG, Ivory Coast, India, Ghana, Rwanda and other key stakeholders playing a part in the area of ICT in agriculture and rural development. Ms Anju Mangal of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) presented an overview in the area of ICT policy development and linkages with agriculture in the Pacific region. Mr Karo Gebo, ICT Manager at the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) in Papua New Guinea presented the framework of NARI in the area of ICT for research initiatives.

Participants were expected to challenge the concept and discuss lessons learned for formulating and implementing inclusive e-agriculture strategies in ACP region and to promote information sharing, transparency and accountability in the area of agriculture. Collaborative actions to support capacity building and knowledge sharing on successful experiences will also be discussed.

For more information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , CTA  – Alternative you can visit the website: and or email the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

ICELRD’s core business is to improve the food and nutritional security of the Pacific Community through the sustainable management and development of land, agriculture and forestry resources. This is accomplished through the delivery of technical support, training and advice to our member country governments in the areas of plant protection, conservation and use of plant genetic resources, animal health and production, agroforestry, sustainable systems for agriculture, forestry and land management, and biosecurity and trade facilitation.

The Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services (HOAFS) is the leading regional body providing guidance to LRD work plans. The biannual HOAFS Meeting endorses LRD work plans and budget. The office of the LRD Executive acts as the Secretariat for HOAFS.