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  • DO Channel
    Arid Tropics ICRISAT the SIBWA team provided the farmers with very high resolution imagery VHRI of their land The images are made by sensors on satellites and show a high level of detail The images on Google Earth for example are VHRI quality When ICRISAT acquire a VHRI they use computer software to enhance the image add extra layers of information and analyze the data that would be useful to the farmers estimates variations of soil fertility land size and shape Working with local NGOs and extension officers the SIBWA team then visit the project sites to verify the information with the farmers ICRISAT further analyses the images using the feedback from the field research to build a database of information that they can use to develop an accurate map of each farm SIBWA partners then translate the information into local languages and take the detailed maps back to the individual farmers who can use to plan and manage their crops for the coming growing season Indicators Although a satellite cannot directly detect soil quality it can record how the soil reflects light its colour in other words But to get a more precise picture of soil fertility the scientists can analyse the images when the crops are growing at their peak The condition of the fully grown plants can then give a good idea of the quality of the underlying soil The images therefore cannot give an exact figure for soil fertility as in more traditional soil sampling and analysis techniques but VHRI gives an accurate picture of relative fertility across the landscape rather than just the results from a few sample points While a single VHRI image costs between US 1000 1500 this method of analysis is often still cheaper than visiting every individual farmer s field and sending a comprehensive set of soil samples to the laboratory The cost of satellite imagery has decreased rapidly in recent years as more sources have become available but SIBWA used images and data from two other ICRISAT research programmes The technology and data was already available but they had not been brought together and applied to the issues affecting small scale farmers before With this overview of the soil quality farmers can organize the distribution of fertilizer throughout their fields and plan which crops should go in which areas Many farmers also do not know the exact size of their land but the SIBWA team worked with the farmers to determine the area of each field The farmers can then use this data to calculate the precise amounts of seeds pesticides and fertilizers they need to buy Knowing the size and shape of fields can also help rural communities to plan for future developments and investments and if for example the land is suitable for mechanization Small and fragmented fields and fields with an awkward shape are difficult to work with a tractor or even animal traction There is a minimum size above which it becomes cost effective to use

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/hi-tech-imagery-helps-rural-african-farmers/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    to transform Kenya into a high tech hub for the continent For every 100 startups maybe one will succeed but that one company may change the lives of a lot of people We have a large number of Kenyans doing software development and because of successes like MPESA a lot of them are developing mobile applications says Bitange Ndemo the permanent secretary for Kenya s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology So what we are doing on the government side we are developing incubators so that an idea can be developed and we can provide an environment where someone can take their idea to market For every 100 startups maybe one will succeed but that one company may change the lives of a lot of people A techie paradise Image credits Brendan Bannon The Christian Science Monitor Mobileapp developer Sammy Njoroge works at iHub a creative space for technology incubation in Nairobi Kenya Walk through the iHub Nairobi s most famous high tech incubator and you ll feel the buzz of a collaborative competition Software developers in faded jeans sidle up to website designers to ask for advice on how to make their mobile phone applications more user friendly or to another coder for tips on how to work the bugs out of their system When a developer feels ready to take his product to market he or she can receive advice on how to create a business plan or how to attract investors IHub is a techie paradise filled with the kinds of young smart African men and women that tech blogger Curt Hopkins likes to call Afro Nerd Superstars In one corner of iHub a hissing machine makes cappuccinos A gaggle of young men crowd around a foosball table letting off steam while a scattering of software developers sit in front of laptops in singles or pairs typing in computer code With 10 000 members half of them accessing iHub services online this is the Africa that gets forgotten amid the headlines of war and famine but it s an Africa that is applying the tools of the West with a particularly African sensibility Whenever you put smart people in a room they start talking and so at iHub we want to get innovative thinking a spirit of entrepreneurship going says Jessica Colaco manager of iHub We launched in June 2011 and now this is the physical nexus for the tech community Fun and coffee aside iHub is serious about fostering businesses and seven new companies created at iHub have already been selected out of 100 candidates as the first crop of graduates into a nearby business incubator called M Lab The M stands for mobile and all seven of the new companies have created mobile phone applications aimed at Kenyan consumers everything from mobile phone banking to health care to commodity prices for farmers IHub has also paired up its member hackers with local aid groups to come up with mobile phone applications for social problems like

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/a-mobile-application-to-manage-cattle/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    down or dry up The device known as a waterpoint data transmitter is fitted into handpump handles and automatically monitors the number of strokes made when a pump is operated This data which provides estimates of daily and seasonal demand including critical under or over usage information is then transmitted to a central hub thus informing engineers cheaply and regularly of the need for repairs and helping to ensure a constant flow of water The researchers will trial their idea which is known as the Smart Handpumps initiative in 70 villages in Kenya next month August A prototype transmitter was successfully trialled in Zambia in 2011 We came up with the project in response to the widespread failure of hand pumps largely because of wear and tear and mechanical faults and associated health and economic failure impacts on the 276 million Africans who do not have improved water services lead researcher Rob Hope a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford told SciDev Net It is estimated that at any one time one third of handpumps in rural Africa are not working Unimproved water access is associated with 1 5 million unnecessary deaths of children under five said Hope Women and children spend close to 40 billion hours collecting water each year in Africa and 448 million school days are lost because of unreliable water supplies he added Julius Kabubi an East African Commission risk reduction adviser said that the initiative would particularly benefit arid and semi arid areas which require a constant water supply Image Credits At any one time one third of water pumps in rural Africa are broken say researchers Flickr World Bank Photo Collection SciDev A minor pump breakdown in a remote area can cause a well to be abandoned and this is what the

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/smart-waterpumps-for-rural-africa/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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    macro economic and food security conditions have allowed a move to more innovative market based approaches The use of electronic vouchers to buy agricultural inputs a programme supported by FAO Zimbabwe is one such approach for agricultural inputs in Zimbabwe In the 2011 2012 agricultural season FAO has scaled up distribution of agricultural inputs through an electronic voucher e voucher system the PRP II Electronic Payment System PEPS The objective of the programme is to provide e voucher beneficiaries with agricultural inputs of their choice while at the same time helping to re vitalise the supplier wholesaler retailer chain in rural areas PEPS is targeted at districts where there is mobile network coverage ZESA coverage and an agro dealer retailer network at ward level PEPS ensures immediate cash payment of commission to retailers and real time electronic transmission of payment to the relevant wholesalers suppliers The voucher does not restrict the beneficiary to any one retailer but allows them to choose inputs from pre registered retailers within their ward supplied by per registered wholesalers and or suppliers Farmers can buy the agricultural inputs they need from four broad categories seeds fertilizers and lime agrochemicals and tools or spare parts for

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/e-vouchers-to-bridge-gap-between-farmers-and-retailers/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    online information on the amount of fertilizers that they must apply to a particular kind of soil and crop This will help them overcome the problem of over use of fertilizer that is eroding soil health The Bhopal based Indian Institute of Soil Science has developed a web based system that calculates the quantum and quality of fertilizers that should be applied to the soil for targeted yield As of

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/farmers-to-get-online-advice-on-fertilizer-use/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    Research Institute IRRI has produced a soap opera that is now airing on Bangladesh television The TV drama series Jiboner Jolchobi is about a local journalist who much to the dislike of his hard nosed news colleagues compiles stories on the struggles of farming families and communities for better livelihoods TV drama serials also known as soaps are immensely popular in Bangladesh said Dr Mohammed Zainul Abedin IRRI s representative in Bangladesh We developed J iboner Jolchob i as a way to communicate some key messages about how farmers could improve their lives by adopting new agricultural technologies he added Each episode has an individual theme focused on delivering useful information to Bangladeshi farmers in an entertaining enjoyable and engaging way Some of the topics Jiboner Jolchobi addresses are ways to help avert monga how a small business such as food processing can change lives the benefits of small savings and credit systems and becoming a local service provider as a plant doctor or chicken vaccinator said Dr Abedin Feedback from the first few episodes has been positive with local viewers able to send in comments via SMS In Vietnam IRRI was involved in a similar media campaign called Ba Giam Ba Tang which used a radio drama a television drama a 30 second TV commercial posters flyers and extension efforts to promote reductions in unnecessary and costly inputs into rice production As a result of the Vietnam campaign insecticide sprays declined 13 33 seed and fertiliser rates dropped and farmers beliefs about the value of high inputs changed said Dr Abedin The reduced inputs resulted in similar or higher yields and net incomes and the health of farmers and the environment also improved he added We hope Jiboner Jolchob i will deliver similar positive results Jiboner Jolchobi was produced

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/tv-serial-enriches-farmers-lives-in-bangladesh/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    in Japan is set to get an ICT boost with trial of a farm information sensing network that would improve cultivation in Related topics regions ICTs Agriculture Innovations India launches helpline for perishable food transporters The toll free number will help in creating database of common logistical hurdles experienced on highways by the reefer operators Related topics regions ICTs India Digital Punjab farmers to enjoy e payment The Punjab government along with FCI is all set to introduce e payment system for the farmers who sell their produce to the government Payment will be Related topics regions Farming Agriculture Economy UK supports FAO programme to improve agri data access in developing countries A funding partnership with the UK is supporting the Food and Agriculture Organisation to improve availability of agricultural data to governments and farmers Related topics regions Data Agriculture Partnerships Supporting food security through remote sensing technology A new partnership looks at using remote sensing based information and insurance for crops in emerging economies focusing on Asia s staple crop rice The Related topics regions Food Science and Technology Agriculture US agriculture portal adapted for Philippine farmers Farmers in Phillipines can now receive information and access expert advice on agriculture best practices through an online eXtension portal which has been Related topics regions ICTs Agriculture A new SMS system for Mozambique farmers IFC a member of the World Bank Group is launching with two Mozambican partners an information texting service for farmers and small business as part of its Related topics regions Farming Agriculture Mobiles ICTs Temperature maps to monitor animal well being A new application for thermal imaging technology to monitor surface temperature gradients on animals has been developed by The Mississippi State University s Related topics regions Development Technology ICTs Agriculture A simple exchange system Farmers in Kenya and Nigeria use a unique SMS service to share information Next2 s SMS service in Kenya and Nigeria lets farmers share local knowledge Related topics regions Development SMS ICTs Agriculture ITC launches interactive mobile telephony for tobacco farmers The Indian Leaf Tobacco Development ILTD Division of ITC is exploring mobile telephony based technology tools for personalised farmer communication Related topics regions Development ICTs Internet Kenya 250 000 farmers to get tips on mobile phones Approximately 250 000 small holder farmers in Kenya can now get reliable and relevant agricultural information via their mobile phones following a partnership Related topics regions SMS Agriculture Mobiles A bridge between farmers and the web Kenyan farmer Zack Matere searches the web for useful agricultural information then posts it on notice boards around his community helping other producers Related topics regions Development Web ICTs Social media help farmers restore lost crops Along with other forms of social media Twitter is bridging the gap between farmers and consumers Social media has also buoyed the small non commodity Related topics regions Social Media ICTs Agriculture Dairy farmers on the web to highlight their plight Dairy operators in California are using social media tools to educate people

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/search?Description=&Creator=&created:date=1970/02/01&submit=Search&SearchableText=&b_start:int=0&Title=&created_usage=range%3Amin&Subject:list=Agriculture (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    potential for innovative product design and inventive use of technology to find solutions Innovation and the partnerships around innovation have always been part of UNICEF s DNA said Shanelle Hall Director of UNICEF s Supply Division in Copenhagen The Innovate for Children website is premised on the idea that we can and must do more It is one way UNICEF is reaching out to expert individuals industry and design and research institutions to get involved For child survival and development innovation is critical Children s lives are being saved thanks to new vaccines better formulations in paediatric medicines and more effective health technology such as longer lasting bed nets said Paul Molinaro who heads UNICEF s innovation team Newly developed open source mobile phone technology is allowing health workers to shorten critical waiting times for patients test results and reduce the risk of stock outs of essential supplies in remote clinics said Paul Molinaro who heads UNICEF s innovation team UNICEF collaborations around innovation featured on the website include A new design for water containers now being field tested in Afghanistan Central African Republic Haiti and Sudan Bundling together dosages of oral rehydration salts sachets and zinc tablets so that front line health workers and caregivers at home can easily combine these to treat diarrhoea one of the leading killers of young children Development of a respiratory timer that will work well in low technology settings and better diagnose pneumonia in young children Pneumonia is the leading cause of preventable deaths among children In Zambia and Malawi Project Mwana is saving lives of newborns by using mobile phones to communicate HIV test results more quickly to health workers This means treatment can start much sooner The website welcomes comments and ideas and invites online submissions on projects designed to accelerate

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/unicef-launches-website-for-children-to-accelerate-progress/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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