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21c Goes Green at Parliamentary Session

GLN and agINFRA were actively represented during the second in a series of seminars exploring ICT and Knowledge Sharing in Agriculture. Aneta attended the session organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development (APPG) in Westminster, London to discuss current trends and issues around technological developments and agriculture.

To kick off the debate, speakers gave short but intense presentations showcasing current state of the art and talked about their experiences. Insights from Rikin Ghandi – CEO at Digital Green, Kenny Ewan – Programme Manager at Café-direct Producers’ Foundation, Pete Cranston Director at Euforic Services and Convener of the ‘ict4ag’ conference in Kigali and Jan Priebe – Independent consultant, were presented. The session was moderated by Lord Cameron of Dillington.

Participants examined key challenges of ICT in agriculture, explored how ICTs can help support person-to-person knowledge sharing and community extension services and gave examples of research questions that are still awaiting further investigation. As stated by Pete Cranston, the time is ripe for more holistic approaches and the development of integrated systems in Agriculture. However, it is important to keep in mind issues like access, uptake and scale, as in some countries only small fractions of the population has access to the Internet. Moreover, research showed that comparing to middlemen, farmers are less likely to leverage information to make profit by 37%. The information also needs to be relevant to the time and space, in other words it needs to be actively tailored to be really useful. Here, local extensions come to play as well as peer-to-peer support. That is why we should draw on existing sources of knowledge; publicise or make existing knowledge accessible. Creating new networks is essential to disseminate information. The Open Access movement, greatly supported and promoted by GLN and agINFRA is an invaluable help here. The session was closed with a Q&A session, during which all participants had a chance to ask questions and take part in the debate. A great exchange of views and ideas! Looking forward for the next seminar and for greater collaboration.

On Tuesday 1st of July, Citadel on the Move received a warm welcome from the ODI members, gathered in the Wallace Space, London for the morning ODI 'membership 101 session'. Ben and Aneta were invited to speak about the Citadel solution and answer all questions related to the project. Ben with his speaker hat on, started by introducing Citadel objectives and current developments to the audience, then explained how the solution plans on using the power of Open Data to encourage citizens to innovate and contribute in building smarter cities. Finally, Ben presented a business case for the solution, illustrating with examples why Citadel is different from other solutions. There is no wonder as to why so many cities around the world are interested in adopting it. Citadel offers free guidance to cities and a platform where people without technical skills can build apps using the available datasets or even add their own. The extensive showcase of the Citadel features was followed by a series of questions. Almost everyone wanted to know more! Even after the session was finished, the Citadel team continued the Q&A during break time and promised to share more information with anyone interested. So if you still have some questions feel free to give us a shout!

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