Ghana forging ahead with e-agriculture
GOVERNMENT| July 7, 2014, 7:19 a.m.
By Issa Sikiti da Silva in Accra, Ghana
Since launching an internet-based platform in February this year to enable agricultural experts, farmers and community members to exchange opinions and resources, the Ghana government has been forging ahead in its quest to digitise the sector, which constitutes the backbone of the economy.
Almost every month, an e-agriculture initiative is being brought in to speed up the process and disseminate digital knowledge that would probably enhance the sector's productivity.
Just recently, the country conducted nationwide tests of an e-agriculture project to help famers get to grip with technology. At least 35 000 farmers with access to smart phones with in-built voicemail in six local languages subscribed to the platform.
Last week at the African Union summit, African leaders have vowed to 'transform' the continent's agriculture sector by committing to spend at least 10% of their national budgets on the sector.
Annually, Ghana allocates just under 10% of its national budget to the sector, which experts said is very low.
"We have the land but we are lacking the resources and expertise," small scale farmer Grace Sarpong told Biztechafrica in the capital Accra.
"I heard on radio and saw on TV how technology can help improve and transform agriculture, and I wish the government can speed up the process of implementing this e-agriculture nationwide as soon as possible," she added.
"We have been relying too much and for too long on traditional methods of farming. Our productivity is not moving forward year in year out, and we experience serious difficulties in accessing reliable information," another small scale farmer, Cecilia Arimah said emotionally.
Women are the key actors in Ghanaian agriculture, constituting over half the agricultural labour force and producing 70% of the country’s food, according to the 2011 Curtis Research report.
The government has acknowledged that about 60% of Ghana famers were facing problems to access reliable information on agriculture, but said farmers could now access agriculture-based information through a designated portal address equipped with a multilingual interactive voice response system.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
Presidential candidates say no to BTCL privatisationFormer Malawian president Joyce Banda graced the live Gabz FM Botswana presidential candidates debates at Westwood primary school, where the two presidential candidates present say the BTCL IPO is in vain. Read More
Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT addresses ITU Plenipotentiary ConferenceRwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, today addressed the 19th International Telecommunication Union plenipotentiary conference in South Korea. Read More
UNDP donates ICT equipment for DRC electionsThe United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has donated ICT equipment to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to support the electoral process in this war-hit Central African nation. Read More
Ghana govt to appoint interconnect clearing houseGhana’s Minister of Communication has hinted at the government’s intention of appointing a company to take charge of the country’s interconnect clearing house by the end of this year. Read More
IPO not foreigner-friendlyThe CEO of BTCL, Paul Taylor, has allayed fears that foreigners resident in Botswana will snap up shares reserved for locals when his organisation starts the Initial Public Offering in November. Read More
Congo Brazzaville’s bid to switch to e-agricultureThe Central African nation of Congo-Brazzaville has 10 million hectares of arable land, but has so far used only 2% of that land. Analysts believe that the country could 'move mountains' and eradicate hunger with the use of ICTs in improving agriculture. Read More
Malawi Agriculture transport system automatedIn partnership with Techno Brain, Malawi’s Agriculture Ministry has launched the first Automated Fleet Management Information System in public service in Malawi. Read More
Telecom Namibia starts work on govt fibre networkTelecom Namibia Managing Director Frans Ndoroma says the national telecommunications services provider has started constructing a fibre-based network to connect the central government to the administrative capitals of all 14 regions in the country. Read More
NCC slams indigenous firms over incompetenceThe Nigerian Communications Commission has slammed indigenous operators in the industry over ‘incompetence and culture of impunity’. Read More
Malawi explores initiatives for rural mobile roll-outThe Government of Malawi is exploring ways and means to reach out to the far-flung areas with mobile phone service communication in line with the country’s revised Communications Act. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSHow the cloud helps SMEs tidy up the IT mess
The cloud offers SMEs a number of benefits when it comes to security and business continuity, saysSage Pastel Accounting.VMware reports third quarter 2014 results
VMware, the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced Year-over-Year Revenue Growth of 18% to $1.52 Billion in its financial results for the third quarter ...