The above screenshot of a conversation via facebook. A colleague asks a question and the following is the response:
Colleague: I want to know the role of Information Systems (IS) in the Trinidad and Tobago Agriculture Sector. How has the IS change the sector?
Me: It hasn’t. It’s limited, unfocused and severely underutilized.
Colleague: What about the Namdevco (National Agri Marketing Development Company) and the NAMISTT (National Agri Marketing Information System of Trinidad and Tobago)
In reflecting on this very short conversation, it is not encouraging to know that agriculture in Trinidad faces such a serious problem. Previous investigation into the NAMISTT reveals that the technology used to gather data is outdated.
Large amounts of recorded information that is gathered is difficult to access or is not always updated in a timely fashion. Regardless some agri information is accessible such as Daily prices and volumes traded for certain commodities at one or two markets in the country.
Services such as the Inspection and Packing House is in full operation whereas other services are lacking or almost nonexistent.
In comparison to many other parts of the world this is not the case. Countries in Africa, regions in India and even nearby Caribbean countries have much better marketing system infrastructure. The benchmarks are set for the relevant authorities.
However it is not advised to wait on an authority to secure a farming community’s market. Groups should make use of available communication technologies to better themselves. Prices, Volumes, and other market information can be easily attained with a well defined system. Here are some excellent resources that exemplify the global trend of Mobile/ICT enable Agriculture