ICTforAg will engage 200 thought leaders and decision makers in agriculture, technology and international development on June 3, 2015.

Wednesday, June 3rd

8:30-9am: Registration

  • Light Breakfast and Registration
    Wake up, grab coffee and treats, and find your friends and your seat before the event begins

9-10am: Opening Session

  • ICT for Precision Agriculture: Hafizh Kalamullah, CI Agriculture
    CI Agriculture is using sensors, satellite imagery, and unmanned aerial vehicles to improve smallholder farmer maize production in Indonesia through ICT-enabled precision agriculture. Hafizh will explain how local start-up companies like his are adapting mature-market technologies to developing world challenges and creating solutions for and with local agricultural stakeholders.

10-10:30am: Inspiring Lightning Talks on Current Innovations

  • Building an ICT4Ag Company: Alloysius Attah, Farmerline
    We all want to encourage new ICT4Ag start-ups because local solutions stand a better chance of solving local problems at the grass root level, but the journey from idea to sustainability is long and difficult. Alloysius will share the good, bad, and ugly in launching an African ICT4Ag business.
  • How Geospatial Data Can Improve Agricultural Investments Jawoo Koo, International Food Policy Research Institute
    High-resolution geospatial data and analytics tools are dropping in cost and increasing in accessibility and functionality. Jawoo will highlight key applications that are creating new opportunities to better plan and monitor agricultural activities and investment.
  • ICTs and Regional Climate Change: Alejandro Solis, DAI
    Climate change is directly impacting farmers now. How can we increase farmer resilience? Alejandro will lead us through the response from the Regional Climate Change program.
  • Digital Principles for Better ICTforAg: Kelly Cheung, FHI 360
    Multiple major donors have signed on to the Principles for Digital Development to improve the way we design and use technology tools in development. What does it mean for ICT interventions in Agriculture?
  • RCT + ICTforAg = Evidence: Ben Jaques-Leslie, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (MIT J-PAL)
    Many ICT interventions claim to improve farmer practices, but what does the evidence say? Ben will present the results of randomized evaluations on the impacts of ICT in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

10:30-11am: Morning Break

  • Reconnect with your friends and peers, reflect on the morning’s inspirations and ideas, and visit vendor demonstrations.

11am-12pm: Morning Plenary

  • The Real Challenge: Farmer Adoption of Technology Judy Payne, USAID; Kentaro Toyama, Digital Green; Elias Nure, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency; Jaclyn Carlsen, DAI; Moderated by Wayan Vota, FHI 360
    We are all in the business of increasing farmer adoption of new technologies – from seeds, to processes, to ICT, yet changing farmer behavior is hard, and there are many, many failures (even if we don’t talk about them). What does it take to really effect change? What can we learn from ICTforAg success and failure? And what are realistic expectations for us all?

12-12:45pm: Learning Lunch Tables and Vendor Demonstrations

Learning Lunch Tables

Vendor Demonstrations

12:45-1:15pm Afternoon Keynote

  • Localizing Technology Adoption and Innovation: David Cleary, The Nature Conservancy
    Precision agriculture offers the promise of something for everyone: increased input efficiency leading to higher yields with lower environmental impacts, exactly what the world needs. But history is littered with examples of technology transfer that went wrong. How can techniques developed in Silicon Valley be made practical and relevant to the very different settings of the Indian sub-continent and sub-Saharan Africa?

1:15-1:45pm Inspiring Lightning Talks on New Innovations

  • Agriculture on Jennifer Fong, Facebook
    Recognizing that that access and affordability of internet access can be a high barrier to farmer adoption of ICTforAg solutions, Facebook’s initiative is one solution to help bring ICTforAg solutions to the two thirds of the world that doesn’t have Internet access.
  • How DFS Can Meet the Financing Demands of Farmers: Nandini Harihareswara, USAID
    There is a $430+ billion shortfall in serving the global demand for smallholder finance. Digital Financial Services could provide farmer access to finance and increase household resiliency. Nandini will share findings and roadmaps for DFS adoption across agriculture programs.
  • Yes, It Is Possible to Partner With MNOs on ICT4Ag: Maggie McDonough, Souktel
    Mobile Network Operators have the reach and power to take any ICT4Ag solution to scale, but are they interested? Souktel shares the inside story of its experience building partnerships between a leading African MNO, a ministry, a funder, an implementer, and farmers across Morocco.
  • Engaging Ugandan Youth in Agriculture Through ICT: Robert Anyang, Chemonics
    Youth are the future of farming, but how to engage them? Technology could be one answer. Akorion is an ICT consortium of five youth-led companies that develop, promote, and popularize mobile apps that integrate soil testing, financing, and e-extension services for smallholder farmers.
  • Why Traceability Matters to Companies, Consumers and Communities: Kevin Wilkins, Consultant
    Traceability is the key to buyer confidence and transparent relationships with smallholders to achieve global food security. Kevin will tell us why traceability mattered to 30,000 farmers in West Africa and how to bring it to your programs too.

1:45-2pm Afternoon Break

  • Reflect on the keynote and lightning talk, reconnect with your peers, and choose your next experience

2-3pm Early Afternoon Breakout Sessions

  • Farmer Financing Models: From DFS to Crowd Funding: Max Mattern, CGAP; Marisa Bowersox, GeoPoll; Patty Simonton, StartSomeGood
    Farmers need access to finance, period. But how to make that happen when farmers are often outside of traditional financing mechanism? What is the true demand? Can digital financial services help? What about crowd funding? We’ll look at actual farmer demand and examples from Africa to Southeast Asia, with a focus on practical solutions that meet real needs.
  • ICT and M&E – Toward Data Confidence: Ben Jaques-Leslie, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (MIT J-PAL); Pamela Velez-Vega, FHI 360; Katherine Scaife Diaz, TechnoServe; Michael Reiter, FINTRAC
    How reliable are the data points that undergird indicators of agricultural development impact? How can we get closer to nailing the complexities involved in estimating yields, measuring land and assessing the frequency of chickens? This session will share the pros and cons of tested approaches and tools, with polling and input from the audience.
  • Behind the Bar Code: Traceability for Buyer Confidence and Smallholder Empowerment John Lamb, Abt Associates; Kevin Wilkins, Consultant; Brian Bedard, GMA Science and Education Foundation
    Tracking food from farm to fork is a relatively recent phenomenon, evolving from buyer-driven basics (supply chain efficiency, quality assurance) in the 1990s to today’s increasingly consumer-driven demand for responsible sourcing (organic, sustainable, no child labor). But as big data gets bigger, where do smallholders fit in—and how can they benefit?
  • Local Ownership of Innovation: David Cleary, The Nature Conservancy; Robert Ryan-Silva, DAI; Elias Nure, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, Jaclyn Carlsen, DAI
    Local actors should be able to create and control new innovations in agriculture, yet they are often passive recipients of what others make. How can we create strong market pressures that increase local actor participation and even co-creation of ag sector services?
  • FoodTech: Five Sexy Tools You Can Use Right Now! Twanna Hines, Land O’Lakes; Rebecca Askin, DAI; Ravi Agarwal, engageSPARK
    Don’t let anyone fool you. Technologies change, but being very cost effective and increasing social impact is always sexy. If you’re not sure where or how to begin integrating ICT practices in your agriculture programs, attend this session to learn about five low-tech, low-cost, and easy-to-use tools you can deploy and use right away. Get inspired to bring together a mix of field-based examples, bright ideas, and innovations grounded in the everyday lives of smallholders.
  • Customer Centric Design for Ag Programs: Alejandro Solis, DAI; Amitabh Saxena, Digital Disruptions; Samantha Akin, Grameen Foundation; Glen Burnett, Practical Action
    Existing and future ICTforAg interventions could be improved with customer centric design – a mix of user centered design (UX), and customer experience design (CX), where target ‘beneficiaries’ are instead seen as primary customers of development solutions. Learn how you can use this approach to improve your programs.
  • How Can We Improve Farmer Information Systems? Fouad Rachidi, DAI; Tulika Narayan, Abt Associates; Alloysius Attah, Farmerline; Kevin Schuster, VOTO Mobile
    Many development programs send SMS text messages to farmers and ag extension workers, as do commercial agro dealers, cooperatives, and other value chain actors. We’d discuss what works best, what doesn’t, and how can we improve the information system process? Also, we’ll explore the real and potential revenue models for info-services.

3-3:30pm Session Transfers

  • Reflect on the previous sessions, reconnect with your peers, and choose your next experience

3:30-4:30pm Mid-Afternoon Breakout Sessions

  • Innovations in Farmer Financing: Christine Martin, USAID; Nicholas Lesher, OpenRevolution; Sean Martin McDonald, FrontlineSMS
    Digital financial services are more than mobile money. The public and private sectors are now experimenting with e-vouchers for everything from seeds to fertilizers. How can e-Vouchers solve specific problems within the supply chain? Should we celebrate or worry about these new innovations for farmers?
  • How to Create Elusive “Win-Win” Partnerships with MNOs: Jennifer Fong, Facebook; Alloysius Attah, Farmerline; Maggie McDonough, Souktel; Fernando Maldonado, USAID
    Most mobile network operators are more concerned with monthly revenue than with launching mAgriculture services. Yet, mobile networks still want to add value to local communities. We’ll explore how to build successful ICTforAg partnerships with network operators–creating the elusive “win-win” scenario that drives revenue and social impact together.
  • Making Open Data for Ag a Reality: Siobhan Green, Sonjara; Zachary Baquet, USAID; Chris Murphy, USAID; Dr Umaru Bah, Morgan University; Ben White, Integra
    We all create, store, and analyze data, usually in adhoc Excel spreadsheets. We know we can do better, and USAID’s Open Data Policy says we must. This session will be a practical discussion on how to be compliant and use data to be better ICTforAg implementers, with highlights submitted to USAID’s Chief Data Officer.
  • Can ICTs Entice Youth to be Farmers? Kristin Brady, FHI 360; Nira Desai, World Cocoa Foundation; Bassey Archibong, Chemonics
    We want youth to be interested in farming as a profession, yet they often perceive it to be unglamorous work and migrate to the cities instead. Could ICTs be a way to make farming cool for youth and give them tools to improve farming outcomes? What approaches worked or not? What should we try next?
  • What is the Future of Ag Extension Services? Adam Wolf, PulsePod; Kentaro Toyama, Digital Green; Whitney Gantt, Grameen Foundation; Mike Godfrey, Abt Associates
    Current agriculture extension services often focus on information dissemination, neglecting the full range of financial, logistical, and contextual challenges that smallholder farmers face. How can we transition to a more holistic services approach, what would that model look like, and how can it be sustainable?
  • Beyond the Hype: Business Models that Work: Krista Baptista DAI; Robert Jacobi, USAID’s Afghanistan Idea-New Project/DAI; Hubert Peri, Root Capital; Donna Vincent Roa, Securing Water for Food Technical Assistance Facility
    We are in search of the holy grail of sustainable, scalable, locally relevant, and resilient business models for ICTforAg interventions. Do any exist? What do they look like? What lessons can we learn? Or replicate? We’ll take a close look at a few successful models and explore how to create more.
  • New Tools for Remote Sensing and Geospatial Data Jawoo Koo, International Food Policy Research Institute; Valerie Oliphant, Social Impact Lab; Greg Austic, Michigan State University; Ryan Whitley, Spatial Development; Regi Wahyu, Mediatrac Sistem Komunikasi; John Zoltner, FHI 360
    Remote soil, air, water, and plant sensing technologies are dropping in price every day. Near-real time satellite and geospatial data is now near-free. Combined with phones that are getting smarter, faster, and cheaper, what are the exciting geolocation and modeling solutions available today? We’ll walk though a few with key experts.

4:30-5pm: Closing Session

  • The Adjacent Possible of Smallholder Agriculture: Adam Wolf, PulsePod
    A look into the future of ICTforAg to explore where we could be in 2020 as trends in mobile devices, remote sensors, satellite data, and digital financial services reshape local ICT services and ag extension programs. Where will we be? Who will be leading us? And where will we be headed then? Tune in to find out!

5-5:30pm: ICTforAg Hands-On Demos

  • GeoTraceability: Amy Coupland, GeoTraceability
    GeoTraceability specializes in large scale data collection and traceability programs adapted to smallholders in developing and emerging countries. GeoTraceability’s innovative IT solutions and services help build trust and transparency throughout supply chains.
  • aWhere: Stewart Collis, aWhere
    aWhere delivers agricultural intelligence into the hands of farmers, commercial growers, and policymakers everywhere, from decision-making on a single field to informing national policy and corporate objectives. Our ag software captures over a billion points of data every day to create unprecedented visibility and insight anywhere on the planet.
  • TaroWorks: Elaine Chang, TaroWorks
    TaroWorks is a suite of mobile data collection and analytical tools for managing remote field operations, and monitoring and evaluation. It is built on the Salesforce platform and accessed in the field via Android devices.
  • engageSPARK: Ravi Agarwal, engageSPARK
    engageSPARK enables anyone, anywhere to build and launch SMS and Voice Call alerts, surveys, reminders, educational curriculums, and on demand information campaigns to 200+ countries to extend the reach and impact of their social change programs within minutes.
  • First Mile Geo: Matthew McNabb, First Mile Geo
    First Mile Geo is a business intelligence and geospatial analytics platform that enables non-technical users to collect data through any method then map, visualize, and collaborate over it in any language, anywhere, on the fly. No GIS team. No techies. No statisticians.

5:30-7:30pm: Conference Reception