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Information and communication technologies for agricultural development in Latin America: trends, barriers and policies

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Information and communication technologies for agricultural development in Latin America: trends, barriers and policies

Autor institucional: NU. CEPAL. División de Desarrollo Productivo y Empresarial-Comisión Europea Physical Description: 292 páginas. Editorial: ECLAC Date: February 2013 ECLAC symbol: LC/R.2187


The present publication has been prepared to study the potential of ICTs to promote socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable agricultural development. In Latin America, social inclusion and environmental sustainability in agriculture are especially relevant issues, in light of the great structural heterogeneity within the sector and, more recently, the stepped-up pressures on natural resources resulting from the boom in international commodity markets. Yet, the adoption of ICTs in agriculture cannot be expected by itself to reduce production asymmetries and enhance social inclusion. On the contrary, the dissemination of ICTs could indeed produce new gaps by replicating the sector's historic disparities. Taking advantage of ICTs for reversing patterns of unequal development and promoting environmental sustainability in the region's agriculture will require policies for overcoming barriers to their adoption in those segments that are lagging furthest behind. One way to pursue this goal is to identify successful policies and projects in neighboring countries and in other continents with similar patterns of economic and social diversity and adapt them to countries of the region. This publication is intended to contribute to the identification of successful experiments in fostering the use of ICTs in agriculture. "Success" is defined in terms of the possibilities for broad adoption by farmers, replicability, sustainability over time, and the potential to have a positive impact on economic and social inclusion or on the sector's environmental footprint, or on both.

Table of contents

Introduction .-- I. The evolutionary approach applied to ICT and agriculture technological systems in Latin America: a survey .-- II. ICT adoption and diffusion patterns in Latin American agriculture .-- III. Trends and potential uses of ICTs in Latin American and the Caribbean agriculture .-- IV. ICTs and information management (IM) in commercial agriculture: contributions from an evolutionary approach .-- V. Principal barriers to the adoption of ICTs in agriculture and in rural areas .-- ICTs in public agricultural institutions in Latin America: Uruguay, Costa Rica and Paraguay case studies.