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Linking Rural Radio to New ICTs in Africa: Bridging the rural digital divide

by: Jean-Pierre Ilboudo and Riccardo del Castello

africaThe Simbani News Agency is a good example of an ICT/radio application in support of rural populations that is a joint initiative of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and FAO. 

The said news agency prioritised the information needs for development and food security. It developed a multi-thematic approach covering human rights and democracy, gender and develoopment, environment, HIV/AIDS and food security. Rural communities were provided complex  but vital information that can be transformed into laymanized radio scripts and distributed through the Internet to radio stations in Africa. The outputs were delivered in English and French but its text-based services was translated to local languages by broadcasters in order to reach as many stakeholders as possible. 

The Simbani News Agency aims to inform, educate and sensitize both urban and rural populations on food security issues. They adopted a participatory approach and it equipped and trained a number of correspondents throughout Africa. Their task were to ensure that the experiences and perspectives of the communities are communicated to the network.

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ICTs support agricultural productivity in India

Image result for ikisanAmidst declining natural resources for production and the need to enhance livelihoods of those who depend on agriculture, India ventured on maximizing the potent of information communication technologies (ICTs) to address challenges in the agriculture sector. 

Bhalekar, Ingle, and Pathak (2015) studied some ICT projects on agriculture for rural development in India. Three of these projects focused on promoting agricultural development. Lessons from these studies indicate that ICTs can build up knowledge to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve agricultural productivity.

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SMS market information pilot project in Cambodia builds interest

SMS Market InfoCambodia initiated a pilot project on an electronic marketing communication system
(EMCS) using short message service (SMS) technology in 2006-2007 to facilitate
communication and exchange between farmers and traders in remote regions of the
country. The EMCS provided information on market price, pricing trends, potential buyers,
product quantity, and product quality useful to farmers and traders. The project, funded by
the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), established the
EMCS-SMS server and trained farmers and traders to access it.

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