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Publication | 2 March 2022

Harnessing the chances of digitalisation for rural development. Lessons-learnt in German-funded rural development projects

Today’s fast-evolving information and communication technology (ICT) represents a tremendous opportunity for rural populations to improve productivity, to enhance food and nutrition security, to access markets, and to find employment opportunities in a revitalized sector.

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the status quo of digitalisation in Africa, presents insights into the opportunities and challenges arising from ICT4Ag solutions, and introduces ICT’s potential to empower the rural population with a specific focus on rural young people and women.

The case studies presented in this chapter 2 have been selected from the German development portfolio, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and fall under one of the following eight categories:

  1. Extension services, productivity, learning, capacity development

  2. Market price systems, commodity exchange, trading

  3. Value chain/farm/herd management

  4. Diagnostic and collaborative tools, early warning, weather

  5. Finance, payments, insurance

  6. Data collection, GIS, field survey, monitoring and evaluation

  7. Farmers’ voice, lobbying, advocacy

  8. Environment

Chapter 3 details the lessons learned from the implementation of 52 different ICT4Ag solutions, which formed part of 29 GIZ projects operating in 34 countries. While most of the examples are from the sub- Saharan region, a few are also from Asia and from India in particular.

Chapter 4 is aimed at agricultural advisers, managers and planners and looks at how they can best implement user-centred, sustainable ICT4Ag business models.