I just finished reading “Connected Agriculture”; a new report on ICT, mobile and agriculture by Vodafone and Accenture (with support from Oxfam). I found this report very interesting. The aim of this blog post is to share my views and comments, and see if there are other opinions in the community.
As part of our work on Web for Agriculture initiative, and our related projects (W4RA, VBAT, VOICES), I’ve read numerous reports on ICT for agriculture, or ICT for the base of the pyramid (see e.g. my last post on ICT for the BoP). I’m typically skeptical on the need for yet another study. However, this is one of the best, most easy to read, overviews of the potential of ICT/Mobile in agriculture. It is pretty rare to see such studies with a holistic approach centered on farmers, their needs, and elements that could improve their lives. It would have been helpful to add another chapter on how to scale up, in a sustainable manner, the services reviewed in the report so that they are directly usable by the majority of people at the base of the pyramid. This is where the current work of the Web Foundation shows promise, as discussed below.