Take a quick flashback look at a previous post on Youth in Africa using  ICT for Agriculture. Got it? Remember I asked where are the mobile apps for the Caribbean? I asked since this phenomena is occurring not only in developing states but in developed regions as well.

Agrimarketing.com produces an online content for agribusinesses and farmers in the USA. “The Agri Marketing magazine and its related electronically-delivered information serves management, marketing, communications and other executives at companies providing products/services to North American agricultural producers; their ad/PR agencies; ag trade associations and check-off groups, the ag media and other professionals in the ag industry. It is the official publication of the (US) National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA).”

The magazine will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this September. In mid april the company released a free mobile application The App includes constantly updated news about the agricultural industry, a robust weather service, ag commodity price quotes and the most recent blog postings by the Farm Progress Magazine editors.

Soon after the company reported that its app was downloaded 100,000 times! Clearly mobile and smart phone technology is a viable means  to communicate. In the Caribbean, mobile communications technology can be found in the majority of areas in the region. Therefore it is possible to utilize this technology in our region for Mobile agriculture application.

Thankfully this is being done! A collegue of mine and fellow student Zainab Ali recently posted on the Agribusiness Society of UWI’s facebook page. She and her team proposes “Using mobile phones features, SMS, voice-mail, picture and video messaging to provide young farmers with agricultural extension services.

This video highlights the system at work in Belize of the Caribbean regions where a pilot project was implemented. It’s called the virtual outreach system (developed by Anton Robinson). The example illustrates a farmer trying to identify a disease on his crop  by using his mobile phone.

Well done! At last technology is being utilized in our field, right here, within our region of the world!!!

Mobile Agriculture is ever present

2 thoughts on “Mobile Agriculture is ever present

  • May 11, 2012 at 1:28 am
    Permalink

    Would you say there is a great need for information systems in the Caribean?

    Reply
    • May 12, 2012 at 12:03 am
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      Yes there is. It differs in some places. For example in the New Guyana marketing corporation ( http://www.newgmc.com/) is very well structured and has utilized mobile tech to communicate with Rural farmers along the Essquibo river whose lands can only be accessed by the waterways. The system mostly uses simple voice and text messages. However in other places such as Trinidad where blackberries and smart phones with multiple functions are almost everywhere it is not being used by the Agrimarketing company (NAMDEVCO – http://www.namdevco.com/services/namisdetail/). Mobile tech provides the physical structure for info and comm systems. So it can be extremely effective in disseminating agri info.

      Reply

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