New issue of ICT Update - February 2010: Farmer services

The latest issue of ICT Update magazine has just been published online at

To build a stable business, farmers need information on a wide range of subjects. But farmers don’t want all the information; they only want what’s relevant to their specific needs. To meet this demand, a few services are now providing agricultural information tailored to fit the working conditions of individual farmers.

‘We need to develop large, integrated networks that will connect diverse sources of information to each other, and to farmers, through ICTs.’ Dr. Monty Jones, executive director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)

A network of community knowledge workers (CKWs) in Uganda uses a suite of mobile applications to give farmers a broad range of information. The CKWs can provide farming advice, market data, pest- and disease-control training, plus weather forecasts.

The Seeing is Believing project uses very high resolution satellite imagery to give farmers in West Africa information on soil fertility and accurate land size.

In Chile, the Mobile Information Project takes advantage of the growing ubiquity of mobile phones to deliver agricultural information from the web directly to farmers.

Nokia Life Tools delivers customized information to farmers in India and Indonesia based on their location, language and crops. The company hopes to expand the service to Africa in 2010.

ICT Update ( is a bimonthly printed bulletin, web magazine, and accompanying email newsletter focusing on the use of information and communication technologies in agriculture in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. It is published in English and French, by CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation) in Wageningen in the Netherlands.