E-agriculture, or ICTs in agriculture, is about designing, developing and applying innovative ways to use ICTs in the rural domain, with a primary focus on agriculture. E-agriculture offers a wide range of solutions to some agricultural challenges.
Setting in place a national e-agriculture strategy is an essential first step for any country planning on using ICTs for agriculture. While the need for e-agriculture strategies is acknowledged by many stakeholders, most countries have yet to adopt a strategic approach in making the best use of ICT developments in agriculture. E-agriculture strategies will help to rationalize both financial and human resources, and address holistically the ICT opportunities and challenges of the agricultural sector while generating new revenues and improving the lives of people in rural communities. It will also help ensure that the goals of national agricultural plans are achieved.
This publication provides a framework for countries in developing their national e-agriculture strategies. These strategies would include an e-agriculture vision, an action plan, and a framework by which results can be monitored and evaluated. Like all strategies and plans, the outcomes of these processes are not static and changes in a country’s strategic context will require a dynamic approach to updating the strategy so that it remains relevant.
Adopting a national approach to e-agriculture will result in improved livelihoods and incomes for people living in rural communities.
E-agriculture holds great potential in promoting sustainable agriculture while protecting the environment and finding an effective way to feed the world’s population.