Capacities for Change, GFAR blog

Have your say in Global Twitter Chat: ICTs for Sustainable Agriculture and Improving Nutrition


What potential do Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) hold for improving Agriculture and Nutrition? What are the specific challenges in your own country?

A “Global Twitter Chat” around these questions will be held by the #GCARD3 Social Media Team. In the spirit of GCARD3 as a global and multi-stakeholder platform, this team represents several regions of the world and different domains of expertise related to agriculture: from food security and nutrition, environment and climate change, agro-ecology, youth empowerment and capacity development, communications and ICTs, anthropology to conflict resolutions and agribusiness – from research to practice.

After their social media bootcamp in South Africa, the team kept their dialogue going on various social media platforms, and they decided to hold monthly Global Twitter Chats with a focus at Agriculture and Technology for development.

In this respect, the team would like to invite you to join the first Global Twitter Chat on the issue of “How can ICTs be utilized for Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Improving Nutrition?”

The chat is scheduled to take place on 29th June 2016 at 13:00CET . For any assistance with Time Zone conversion please follow this link

The Twitter chat will last for one hour and #GCARDsmt will be the official hash tag.

This first ever GCARDsmt Global Twitter Chat of its kind will be moderated by Robert Kibaya one of the GCARD3 Youth Delegates.

About Sustainable Agriculture, ICTs and Nutrition

Three quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas and are largely dependent on farming. Moreover, in many developing countries, the livelihoods of most of the population derive from agriculture, and in particular small-scale farming. As a consequence, support for smallholders and for rural areas can help to reduce poverty. It can also stimulate inclusive and sustainable growth and increase food and nutrition security.

Agriculture therefore faces multiple challenges: it must become more sustainable on a dwindling resource base and strengthen the resilience of the vulnerable while having to feed and nourish an increasing number of people. Moreover, as it currently is the key economic activity for large parts of the population in developing countries, it also needs to provide greater returns and opportunities for growth and poverty reduction.

In recent years, the world has seen unprecedented attention and political commitment to addressing malnutrition. As nutrition rapidly rises on the global agenda, guidance is urgently needed on how to design, implement, and evaluate nutrition-enhancing policies and interventions.

According to FAO information product of 2013/2014, the task of feeding the ever growing population is not going to be an easy task. ICTs, GIS, remote sensing, precision farming and many other technologies or processes hold great promises and are our arsenal in the fight against hunger and in feeding the billions.

Achieving improved and sustainable agricultural production and productivity growth largely depends on the advancement of agricultural research and its effective applications at farmer’s fields through the transfer of technology and innovation.

Innovation is needed and this can be accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies or ideas. In the recent past, ICTs have been playing an important role in promoting innovation in the agriculture sector.  Among others, mobile phones have been very powerful.

The role that ICT can play as an instrument of change is potentially transformative. Smallholder farmers, particularly women involved in agriculture, have a huge advantage when the right ICTs are brought into the agriculture value chain. The access to the right information at the right time gives them the capacity to make informed decisions that affect their livelihoods and thereby play a major role in ensuring food security.

Questions for this Twitter Chat:

Q1: How are ICTs utilized in your respective countries’ agricultural sectors by:
   Q1a: Governments (if possible share link(s))
   Q1b: Farmers (if possible share link(s))

Q2: How do you think ICTs can be utilized innovatively to improve Agriculture and Nutrition in your country? (where possible share examples).

Q3: What are the challenges limiting farmers in your country to exploit the potential of ICTs?

Q4: What ICT platforms and Equipment are commonly used in your country?

Rules and guidelines for future #GCARDsmt Global Twitter Chat

  • A request for topics will be done a month before the date of the Twitter chat.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, a person who suggests a topic will always be the moderator of the topic during the Twitter chat.
  • #GCARDsmt will be official hash tag.
  • Any member who raises a question during the discussion, must begin with “Q:” and then the question. If you have more than one question, please number them in order:“Q1:”, “Q2:, etc
  • Any member who has an answer to the raised question during the discussion, must begin with “A:” THEN the number of the question (if any). For example: for Q1:………… the answer is A1:……….;
  • Unless otherwise indicated, the GCARDsmt Global Twitter chats will always run for a maximum of one hour.

We look forward to your participation in this Twitter chat, and stay tuned for upcoming chats on more interesting topics!


Blogpost by Robert Kibaya, Social Reporter during the #GCARD3 Global Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, 5-8 April 2016– robkib(at) This post  represents the author’s views only.

Photo credits: Zakeena; bottom-Robert Kibaya

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