This one-day conference will build on ICTforAg 2015 and 2016, bringing together 300 thought leaders and decision-makers in agriculture and technology from the international development community and the private sector. With community-driven sessions, we will examine how new innovations can empower smallholder farmers, and the communities that support them, through information and communication technologies (ICT).
We’ll take a particular interest in new ICT solutions that can boost the productivity of both smallholder farmers and agricultural value chains, but we’ll be sure to keep the discussion inclusive of all possible ICTs, including traditional media platforms, agribusiness IT systems, and existing government support systems.
Please sign up to present or register to attend ICTforAg 2017 and examine these trends with an exciting mix of educational keynotes, lightning talks, and group breakouts, including an evening reception to foster networking across sectors.
Over 2 billion people depend on 500 million smallholder farms for their livelihoods. Smallholder farmers produce 80% of the food consumed in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Yet smallholders and their families make up half of those who are food insecure.
Small farm sizes, limited borrowing capacity, increasingly erratic climate, counterfeit inputs, difficult enabling environments, and volatile markets combine to make it a challenge for smallholder farmers to increase their income, or even feed themselves. Maize yields in Africa average just 1 ton per hectare, and rice yields in Asia rarely surpass 4 tons per hectare.
Farmers could increase productivity and profitably to meet growing urban demand if they have access to better financial services, the knowledge and skills to adopt new practices, and incentives aligned along the value chain to support farmer, private sector, and government agricultural stakeholders.
At ICTforAg 2017, we’ll seek to find answers to the real challenges that smallholder farmers and agriculture value chain stakeholders face in four focus areas:
- Where are Digital Financial Services improving farmer finances?
- Who are the DFS innovators, and what are they learning?
- Where does mobile money play a role?
- What about savings, insurance, and other financial products?
- Can we overcome existing gender barriers?
- How can we utilize blockchain for finance and other services?
- How can Digital Extension Services succeed where analog versions have failed?
- Are predictive services, especially weather, accurate enough for farmer use?
- How can we leverage mobile for pest and disease surveillance?
- What is the impact of farm-specific recommendations?
- Can data analytics support farmers and value chain actors?
- Where is the data connection between farmer and policy maker?
- What does Private Sector Partnerships – Version 2.0 look like?
- How can we work with input dealers to help with new seed adoption?
- What tools can support input verification and reduce counterfeit seeds?
- Do investments in market information systems improve farmer incomes?
- How can we connect farmers to better post-harvest services?
- Where does the private sector play a role in fostering financial inclusion?
- Where is Climate Smart Agriculture having impact in mitigating increased variability?
- How can we best teach farmers the newest mitigation strategies?
- What is the opportunity to engage youth to help farmers adapt?
- Which alternate energy sources are practical for farmers?
- Where are farmers seeing real impact from climate smart approaches?
Like previous conferences, ICTforAg 2017 will be a community-driven event. Please submit your ideas for presentations and session topics in one of the four areas listed above. Our aim is to create a day of intense exploration of the already possible and soon-to-be potential of tools like blockchain, drones, sensors, augmented reality, predictive analytics, big data, gamification, and automation, that will move us from talk to ICTforAg action.
Presenters and session leads will play a central role in developing the event and have their ticket costs refunded. Session ideas that also include voices from the field and these cross-cutting themes will be at an advantage:
- Gender equity
- Youth engagement
- Private sector engagement
- Climate change resilience
- Fragile and conflict environments
- Monitoring, evaluation, research and learning
Please sign up to present or register to attend ICTforAg 2017 to examine these trends with an exciting mix of educational keynotes, lightning talks, and group breakouts, including an evening reception to foster needed networking across sectors.
We are charging a modest fee to better allocate seats and we expect to sell out quickly again this year, so buy your tickets or demo tables now. Event proceeds will be used to cover event costs and to offer travel stipends for select participants implementing ICTforAg activities in developing countries.