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! 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 recently posted on the Agribusiness Society of UWI’s facebook page. She and her team proposes “Using mobile phones (Both SMS and voicemail) picture and video messaging to provide young farmers with agricultural extension services. This video highlights the system at work in Belize in the Carribean Islands 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!!!