The workshop entitled Information and communication technologies (ICTs) and agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean was held at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago, Chile, to discuss the incorporation of ICTs into agricultural activities in the region and their impact on production and transaction costs and on innovation processes.
The workshop, which took place on 17 and 18 January, was opened by Mario Cimoli, Director of the Production, Productivity and Management Division of this regional commission of the United Nations and involved the participation of government officials, representatives of international organizations, academics and experts from ECLAC @LIS2 programme.
Some of those who attended the workshop included the Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Agriculture for Bolivia, Víctor Vásquez Mamani, the Director of the Centre for the Development of Human Capital in Chile (CENDEC), José Nagel, the General Coordinator of the Information System of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fishing of Ecuador, Blas Espinel, and the Professor from the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janiero , John Wilkinson, in addition to other experts from Argentina, Chile and Peru.
The incorporation of ICTs into agricultural activities in Latin America and the Caribbean is still limited. Some of the barriers identified include the price of equipment and systems and their high rate of obsolescence, as well as infrastructure and connectivity problems in rural areas. Another element which is equally problematic is the resistance of some agricultural producers, particularly older persons.
At present, ICTs are very important in the logistic management of globalized agricultural markets, in which timely and up-to-date information must be accessed. In addition, experience shows the close relationship between these technologies and the sustainable use of natural resources and managing climate risks in agricultural activity.
Experts agree that active public policies are needed to overcome the initial barriers to the use of ITCs and boost the dynamic between stakeholders.
ECLAC Public Information and Web Services Section.
ECLAC Headquarters: Av. Dag Hammarskjöld 3477, Vitacura, Santiago.
E-mail: dpisantiagocepal.org, Telephone: 562 210 2040.
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