BACKGROUND: New Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are increasingly associated with Agriculture and Rural Development in the Region, in order to leverage on their acclaimed potentials to accelerate inclusive economic growth, as well as food and nutrition security. These ICTs take different formats: video animation, use of mobile phone to disseminate/access advisory services or market information, mobile application targeting fishery activities, application for calculating local commodity costs, participatory  three dimensional modelling, web 2.0 (Facebook, crowdsourcing, etc.) use for agricultural activities, prototype applications to address praedial larceny, platforms addressing climate change challenges, etc. Young people are being increasingly called upon to contribute with their innovations to modernize the sector. Capacity building and awareness raising activities are increasingly taking place.

 

However, many of these initiatives do not succeed beyond the pilot phase. Others, like market information systems still face critical challenges regarding their financial sustainability. Though the region boasts strong social and geographical ICT penetration rates compared to many developing countries, (for example many farmers have smartphones and many countries have above 150% mobile phone penetration), the agricultural sector is yet to widely benefit from this favourable landscape.

The stakeholders invited to contribute to this round-table will first introduce their initiatives and will address how they perceive challenges and opportunities for scaling them up. The discussion will then be broadened, with interactions from the audience, to critically address issues and gaps the agricultural and rural development sectors has been facing for the replication of successful ICT pilot experiences. Strategies that could be leveraged and roles that key actors need to play will be discussed and recommendations made to the attention of concerned stakeholders.

The members of the panel of experts for the round-table are:

  • Rudi F. van Kanten, Programme Director, Tropenbos International (Suriname)
  • Keron Bascombe, Young agricultural expert,Tech4agri.com (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Ingrid Riley, CEO Connectimass, and Regional Partner of the AgriHack Talent Caribbean initiative (Jamaica)
  • Jennifer Britton, Deputy ICT Programme Manager, CARICOM (TBC)
  • Peter Thompson, Principal Director, Technical Services, RADA (Jamaica)
  • Winner of Caribbean video competition (TBC)

This interactive Round-Table will be Chaired by a journalist.


 

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Participating Countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bahamas
  • Dominica
  • Guyana
  • Grenada
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • Suriname
  • Saint Lucia
  • Trinidad and Tobago

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