Integra LLC is thrilled to announce that we will be organizing two sessions at the ICT4Ag conference in Rwanda, November 4-8. Hosted by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the Rwandan Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), the conference will bring together ICT experts from around the world in support of creating an enabling environment for ICT use in agricultural development.
The main conference will take place November 5-7, consisting of over 20 sessions, each targeting a different aspect of the enabling environment. The conference will also arrange several field trips to experience ICTs in action, and has dedicated November 4th to “Plug and Play Day”, giving innovators a chance to demonstrate mobile applications, social media programs, and other creative technologies. Over 30 organizations have partnered with CTA/MINAGI for the event, including USAID, The World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and the International Livestock Research Institute.
A major focus of the ICT4Ag conference is to stimulate thinking about how ICTs can be used to support agriculture. However, many agricultural areas lack access to connectivity, in particular broadband Internet, which enables ICT use. Partnering with Orange, Integra will be chairing two sessions at the conference that target this issue of connectivity: Session 3, ICT Infrastructure Provision for Agricultural Development, and Session 8, Broadband Strategy for Agricultural Development.
Session 3, ICT Infrastructure Provision for Agricultural Development will focus on business and technology solutions. What new technologies and new business models can be used to put affordable connectivity into “last mile” rural areas where many agricultural producers live? Importantly, how can we leverage other infrastructure to do so? Panelists may include representatives from Cisco, Orange, and a TV White Space project currently operating in Kenya, known as “Mawingu”.
Session 8, Broadband Strategy for Agricultural Development will focus more broadly on policy solutions, particularly the alignment of agricultural and ICT policy. How can policy support the business models described above? How can ICT strategies integrate with agriculture policy? Effective strategies view ICT as a function of availability, awareness, affordability, and attractiveness. This panel will touch on each of these areas, and participants will bring a range of perspectives from both the ICT side and agricultural policy side of the debate. Panelists may include representatives from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, Nigeria’s Universal Service Provision Fund, USAID’s Global Broadband and Innovations Program, and the former CEO of Pakistan’s Universal Service Fund Company.
Integra is very excited to be part of this event and looks forward to hosting two interesting and insightful sessions. If you would like more information on ICT4Ag, please visit their website at www.ICT4Ag.com.