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.
 

Web 2.0 workshop promotes information sharing in the agriculture and forestry sectors
Thursday, 25 October 2012 12:11

At the opening of the Web 2.0 Learning Opportunity and Training workshop that is currently being held at the USP JICA-ICT Centre, Suva, Fiji, Alistair MacDonald, the Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, said, ‘The opportunities facing the agriculture sector will change, and are already changing, because of the underlying changes in information technology. How people publish and use information has been completely transformed in recent times, through the World Wide Web, mobile phones and social media.’

 

‘Agriculture, forestry and rural development will have a prominent place in the EU’s development cooperation agenda in future years, whether addressed directly through classical rural development projects, or indirectly in addressing climate change adaptation and natural disaster risk reduction,’ he added.

As a follow-up to the first Web 2.0 Learning Opportunity and Training workshop in 2011, SPC, in collaboration with the EU-funded Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the University of the South Pacific (USP), is committed to strengthening collaboration in facilitating technology-driven services in the dissemination and sharing of information.

In line with the SPC Joint Country Strategies, SPC is supporting the Government of Fiji, particularly the Ministry of Primary Industries, in promoting information sharing and stakeholder participation in the areas of agriculture and forestry.
It was once about viewing information on static web pages but now people can publish their own content through the use of Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, image share, video sharing sites, social networking sites like facebook and twitter, and remote collaboration using google docs, google +, etc.

‘The use of Web 2.0 tools for communicating with stakeholders and sharing information can bring advantages to any organisation concerned with the satisfaction of its stakeholders. The social media and a collaborative approach are changing the way we run our activities within the organisation and externally with our stakeholders, ‘said Mr Samu Turagacati, EU-funded, IACT-LRD coordinator of SPC.

Workshop participants were made aware of the need to understand organisational policies, strategies and governance on the use of social media. ‘As organisations that provide key services to the region, we need to use good judgement about what materials should be uploaded online and in what context,’ said Mr Turagacati.

While we see the importance of introducing Web 2.0 tools to participants, we must not forget that we still have a long way to go in bridging the digital gap between people who have access to the technology and those who do not.  As one participant said, ‘These technologies and web tools are useful to create a community network between agriculture extension officers, exporters and other stakeholders but we also need to reach out to farmers and show them the potential of using such technology. Information centres and mobile phones would be ideal in rural and remote areas.’

Ms Anju Mangal of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community said, ‘SPC has a role to ensure that all employees and stakeholders are aware of these policies in order to participate in online social media activities. The workshop will introduce participants to various Web 2.0 online tools for content delivery, and content learning. It will also provide participants with an overview of ways to minimise the risk of cyber security attacks and threats that can arise from the use of social media and browser intrusion.’

Deputy Director of USP’s JICA-ICT Centre, Mr Fereti Atalifo, acknowledged the participants from the agriculture, forestry and rural development sectors and the collective support by the European Union, CTA and SPC.
The first week of the workshop ends on 26 October and the second week, targeting youths and stakeholders in the area of agriculture/forestry and rural development, will start on 29 October 2012.

For more information, please contact Ms This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it on +679 3370733 and or 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.