Technology Salon


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a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

More Tech Salons About ICT4Ag

  • 5 Ways AgTech and KM Can Increase Food Security During COVID-19

    Washington DC | By on August 20, 2020 | Comments Off on 5 Ways AgTech and KM Can Increase Food Security During COVID-19

    The coronavirus pandemic is creating unprecedented food insecurity around the world. The World Food Programme estimates that the number of people facing acute hunger will double to 265 million in 2020. This global challenge comes on top of existing vulnerabilities including conflict, climate change and economic crises compounded by long-standing social and structural discrimination based…

  • 4 Ways We Can Better Engage Smallholder Farmers Using ICT

    Washington DC | By on March 22, 2016 | Comments Off on 4 Ways We Can Better Engage Smallholder Farmers Using ICT

    An essential component for successfully engaging smallholder farmers using technology comes from providing a voice, a dialogue, with the farmers themselves. This coupling of human engagement to information and communication technologies was a core idea debated at the Technology Salon on How Can We Better Engage with Smallholder Farmers? Over 30 thought leaders exchanged perspectives…

  • ICT4Ag in Ethiopia: The Three S’s

    Washington DC | By on July 1, 2014 | Comments Off on ICT4Ag in Ethiopia: The Three S’s

    “ICT is not the silver bullet. Find what works and do that.” This idea came out of the Tech Salon “What Can We Learn from ICT4Ag in Ethiopia” held last week, where ICT4Ag leaders discussed some of the current initiatives aimed at feeding 92 million people in Ethiopia.

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  • iPads in Agriculture: Glitz Toys or ICT4Ag Business Tool?

    Washington DC | By on September 19, 2011 | Comments Off on iPads in Agriculture: Glitz Toys or ICT4Ag Business Tool?

    This month’s Technology Salon ICT4Ag – Enriching rural coffee farmers via iPads raised a couple of eyebrows from the outset. How can Exprima Media and Sustainable Harvest realistically improve rural coffee farming via iPads? Initially, it struck me as another attempt to use the latest and greatest technology to tackle longstanding challenges within the value…

  • ICT4Ag – Enriching Rural Coffee Farmers Via iPads

    Washington DC | By on September 2, 2011 | Comments Off on ICT4Ag – Enriching Rural Coffee Farmers Via iPads

    We all lust for iPhones, iPads, and the like, and yearn for the day the developing world can use the same cool gadgets we geek on. But did you realize that iPads could be used in remote areas today? That rural coffee farmers in Mexico, Peru, and Tanzania are enriching themselves and their communities through…

  • Competitive private companies know that just adopting the tools of ICT will not magically lead to productivity gains – it takes much change and investments in business processes to really reap the rewards that ICT can bring. But this basic tenant can be lost in the hype around specific devices or technologies.

  • At the Future of Mobile-Empowered Development we focused on the desire by mobile network operators (MNO) to increase revenues and market share by expanding into rural areas, where it becomes more difficult and costly to provide service. We also recognized that the development community wants to capitalize on the success and reach of the mobile network to assist the poor, but these two actors are still wrestling with how to make that happen.

    mobile phone future
    Looking for the next M-Pesa investment

    So how would the development community partner with an MNO like Vodafone? The Salon identified two issues that are key to developing partnership opportunities:

    1. MNOs have specific business objectives and drivers. The development community needs to understand these requirements to design projects that will engage MNOs.
    2. MNOs want to partner with the development community. They are looking for key applications that solve a common need for many in developing countries. MNOs want to satisfy those needs for better business results.

    In essence, both parties need to understand each other’s business better. Let’s begin with briefly outlining Vodafone’s strategy and then what they are looking for and how development initiatives can partner with them.