Written by Alice van der Elstraeten, e-AgricultureIs everyone fully aware of the potential offered by rural communication services (RCS) for agricultural and rural development? Are ministries of agriculture, planning and telecommunications aware of what is already done and what could be possible?
We know that effective policymaking is fundamental to the development of inclusive, affordable and evidence-based strategies to improve rural communication services. These services will benefit from adequate research and investment, public-private partnerships and the full participation of communities and organizations.
During the global online forum on “Communication for Development, Community Media and ICTs for family farming and rural development”, organized by e-Agriculture, FAO and AMARC from August 25 to September 12, 2014, participants from different countries reported the absence of appropriate policies to support the improvement of rural communication services (RCS), by responding to actual needs and by fostering better linkages between the different sectors involved.
The starting point for improved rural communication services as part of agricultural policies should be to address the real needs of farmers and involve them in the different stages of the development process. In this way, policymakers would be able to give voice to rural people and ensure inclusive and demand-driven communication services.
Want to know more about the outcomes of the online forum? Read the full policy brief (available also in French and Spanish). You can also see all the contributions in the e-Agriculture forum archives.