A four day ICT agriculture conference in Rwanda completed its first day, bringing together academics, entrepreneurs, IT specialists, and community organizations from across the world to share and discuss applications of ICT in the agricultural industry. Over 500 delegates from 63 countries were in attendance during the opening day of the conference.
One of the key messages from the first day was the potential for ICT, specifically mobile phones, to significantly improve the lives of millions of farmers. With access of mobile phones surpassing that of clean water, ICT can remove the heavy burden placed on the labour force which accounts for 65% of food production. ICT will play a large role in Rwanda’s 2020 vision to shift the country into a knowledge-based economy.
9 teams also participated in a hackathon, creating mobile applications addressing specific problems that farmers encounter. A large emphasis was placed on better engaging youth to drive innovation and change in the sector. “For too long, youth in Africa has been seen as a problem that needs to be solved … Instead, we need to look at youth as an asset.”, said social media entrepreneur Catherinerose Baretto.
For more information about the conference, visit ict4ag.org.