An increasing number of young innovators and entrepreneurs in developing countries now develop ICT for agriculture solutions to strengthen agri-food systems in their respective countries, and to provide employment and livelihood opportunities for themselves and other young people.
Examples include the mFarm application in Kenya (linking farmers and buyers of agriculture products); Mobis in Uganda (facilitating management of agriculture finance), Daral in Senegal (facilitating management of livestock), mlouma in Senegal (assisting producers to market agriculture products, etc.), CropGuard in Barbados (for pest management). In Uganda, Mobis is helping agricultural cooperatives and more than 60,000 farmers to access and manage finance.
However, young entrepreneurs still face several challenges such as insufficient capacity in e-agriculture entrepreneurship, non-existent or weak linkages with investors, weak knowledge of the agriculture sector, etc. The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) has also been supporting a number of initiatives relating to these issues such as the AgriHack Talent program http://hackathon.ict4ag.org of the Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society (ARDYIS) Project which won the 2015 WSIS Forum Prize (e-agriculture category).
CTA, in collaboration ITU, will organize a dialogue on “Accelerating ICT for agriculture entrepreneurship to promote youth livelihoods and sustainable development”. The session will involve young agtech entrepreneurs from various countries, international business and government experts. It will help discuss how this emerging form of entrepreneurship can be further developed and supported, as an avenue to develop youth employment opportunities, innovations in the agro-food sector, and ensure food security. Issues to be discussed include current status of ICT for agriculture entrepreneurship, examples from developing countries, strengthening business models, capacity building and investments needs, roles for supporting institutions (government, private sector and business stakeholders).
This session will also discuss some of the issues raised at the Plug and Play event organised the same day from 09:00 to 12:00. A new publication on ICT for agriculture entrepreneurship in developing countries will be presented and participants will win some copies.