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Enabling Agriculture with ICTs

As famines and droughts decimate agriculture around the world, it becomes critically important to improve support to farmers and agricultural livelihoods. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have a major role to play in enabling access to information (e.g., crop, market, weather, and disease prevention) as well as in providing direct services (e.g., supply chains, e-businesses, and traceability).

Please join the next ICT4D meetup where a panel of experts will present on how ICTs are enabling agriculture and improving livelihoods worldwide.

This month’s meetup is co-organized by the USAID-funded  FACET project, which is being implemented by FHI 360, and Appropriate IT.

Enabling Agriculture with ICTs

When: Monday, August 22nd at 4:30 pm
Where: USAID Public Information Center, Rooms M-17 & M-18 (Mezzanine Floor), Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC

4:30 – 5:00 pm: Networking
5:00 – 6:00 pm: Panel Presentation
6:00 – 7:00 pm: Q & A



  • Grahame Dixie (World Bank) is Agribusiness Unit Team Leader at the World Bank’s Agriculture and Rural Development department where he has developed a raft of agricultural competitiveness projects in Nepal, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. He also serves as the Chairperson, Rural Thematic Group for Rural Infrastructure Services, Markets and Rural Finance (RIMFI) at the World Bank. Mr. Dixie was an independent consultant for 30 years before that, interfacing between international aid and the private sector. His clients included international development agencies (World Bank, IFC, USAID, Swiss Development Corporation, EU, FAO, IFAD, among others) and private sector companies and major NGOs (TechnoServe, CARE). He has worked in over 65 countries, particularly in Africa and South Asia . His work has focused on increasing rural incomes through connections to, and the understanding of, markets and agribusiness. He played a key role in FAO’s promotion of Marketing Extension and has helped kickstart new agricultural trade in several countries.
  • Shaun Ferris (Catholic Relief Services) is Senior Technical Advisor in the Agriculture and Environment program. He provides technical assistance to CRS' programs overseas with an emphasis on agro-enterprise development. This includes developing best practices that enable poor farming communities to engage with markets more successfully. As a result, new methods are now being implemented in more than 35 countries that provide better incomes for farmers. Dr. Ferris holds a B.S. in Horticultural Science from the University of Reading in Reading, U.K., an M.S. in Tropical and Agronomy from Nottingham University in Nottingham, U.K. and a Ph.D. in Post-Production Science from Cranfield University in Bedfordshire, U.K. While pursuing his Ph.D., Dr. Ferris spent time studying at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Syria from 1983 to 1984, and monitored post-harvest losses of plantain and banana in the western and Ashanti regions of Ghana from 1988 to 1990. He investigated the effects of storage on crop quality and the effect of edible fruit coatings at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria in 1990, and evaluated market quality standards and demand for local fruit at the University of Philippines Los Banos in 1991.
  • Judith E. Payne (USAID) is ICT and e-Business Advisor for USAID where Judy is USAID’s e-Business Advisor where she helps USAID missions and their projects around the world use information and communications technologies as a tool for economic growth and agriculture development. Her work includes helping USAID’s implementing partners find ways to use ICT-enabled approaches to increase their projects’ success in sustainable and scalable ways. Prior to joining USAID, Judy worked for over 25 years in the US private sector, including 15 years working in all aspects of e-business, electronic commerce, and e-government: from strategic planning to hands on implementations, marketing, and pricing; from grappling with the details of transaction standards to software design and development. Applications include mobile banking, market price information systems, applications to help large buyers deal with 1000s of producers, and new technical and business models to extend access to the Internet to the poor. Prior to joining USAID, Judy worked for over 25 years in the US private sector, including 15 years working in all aspects of e-business, electronic commerce, and e-government: from strategic planning to hands on implementations, marketing, and pricing; from grappling with the details of transaction standards to software design and development.
  • Moderator: Usha Venkatachallam (Appropriate IT) is a technologist who believes that appropriate information & communication technologies (ICTs) have transformational power, making them effectives tool for social change. She is the founder of Appropriate IT, a technology development company that specializes in web and mobile application development. At Appropriate IT, she leads efforts to create sustainable technology solutions and build the information and communication technology (ICT) capacity of communities in the Global South.

Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) meetup is a learning network of and for practitioners to share knowledge, information, experiences, and projects in this field.

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  • Elleni D

    Great and informative presentations! An afternoon well spent.

    August 23, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Really enjoyed the demos By Shaun/CRS especially since they leave you with something tangible - definitely better than just thoughts conveyed through a powerpoint.

    August 23, 2011

  • Kelsey B.

    It was well organized and very informative. I'm going to be a graduate student at the Communication, Culture, and Tech program at Georgetown and came to learn about the industry -- and left feeling great confidence in my ability to explain it to others. Thanks!

    August 23, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Very informative. Great presentations by the panel. Glad I was able to attend.

    August 23, 2011

  • marta

    I think it is difficult to have a presentation for such a diverse audience. The biggest challenge was probably to be interesting for the people working closely in the topic but still be understood by the part of the audience who work with general ICT4Dev or came to learn. Just a thought for the next time. But all in all I loved it!

    August 23, 2011

  • Rebecca S.

    The meetup warranted great conversations and critical thinking. The previous meetup did not have the same affect on the audience. The presentations were super interesting and the speakers dynamic.

    August 23, 2011

  • Leland

    Great presentations! Loved CRS' data stuff.

    August 23, 2011

  • Jim T.

    Surprising. Expecting high tech. Got the message that enabling communications by cheap cell phone was fundamental.

    August 23, 2011

  • Demba

    Lately at the Feed the future launch such an issue was central to our discussion panel on ICTs and outreach, possibly once we realise now that's the way to go, donors can channel their support to that components with the support of CBOs and NGOs on the ground like ours.

    August 16, 2011

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  • Appropriate IT

    ICT4D Washington DC meetup is sponsored by Appropriate IT (AI).

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