A new platform launched by CTA - Apps4Ag Database - provides a comprehensive, up-to-date information for investors and development practitioners who want to support the integration of ICTs in food value chains. The responsive database helps users to compare different services provided by hundreds of web, audio, video and mobile applications in the agricultural sector.
Apps4Ag is a comprehensive, up-to-date, and responsive Apps4Ag database to better support access to, and uptake of ICT and mobile applications by individuals and institutions involved in value chain development.
ICT4D has been dominated by the explosive growth and proliferation of mobile phone technologies and supporting wireless infrastructures, and further penetration of the internet and the rise of social media.
The ubiquity of ICTs, especially mobile technologies, is noticeably transforming the way individuals, institutions, and nations exchange information and interact. This offers an immense opportunity for international development agencies to enhance means to address the global challenge of hunger and poverty. However, rural populations, and in particular millions of smallholder farmers, only marginally benefit from the potential linked to adoption and use of these new technologies.
Right now, a digital revolution is changing the way farming is done, but poor smallholder farmers aren’t benefiting from it
(Bill Gates, 2012).
The above quote was confirmed by ITU in a report that stated: “Mobile technology and services continue to be the key driver of the information society with the number of mobile broadband subscriptions close to 2 billion, but ICT uptake remains limited in many developing countries, and particularly in the world’s least connected countries (LCCs)” (MIS, 2013). This confirms the persistent challenge development organisations face in ensuring the use of ICTs in programmes targeting smallholders. The solution to speeding up the uptake of ICTs, mainly through mobile devices, by smallholders is two-fold: firstly, ensuring that smallholders are able to benefit from the penetration of the internet into rural areas, and secondly ensuring that smallholders are aware of the benefits of using the applications on their devices to improve production and marketing efficiency and the effectiveness of their business and livelihoods.