Thursday, January 26, 2017

Information Technologies Key to Farmers

Many of us have technology at our fingertips via our mobile devices. We can check grain markets, weather, and even the score of last nights basketball game. Recently the FAO Director-General called for information technologies to be developed specifically for farmers in developing countries. We encourage you to read the linked article and use the discussion points below to guide your conversations around the globe.

More Support to Family Farmers Needed

Discussion Points
  • Why are information technologies so important to small family farmers in developing countries?
  • Why is it so important to give attention to small farmers in developing countries? 
  • What technologies are being developed that will help farmers in developing countries?
  • Look at agriculture in your community. How is information technology utilized in agriculture?
  • Imagine you work for a technology company in development. What technologies and tools would you create for farmers in developing countries and how could they use them to improve agriculture?

36 comments:

unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
unknown said...

Informative technologies are important for small farmers in developing countries because these farmers completely rely on their crops for money. In many countries, farmers can use technology to know when it will be good weather to work in the field, but these small farmers just have to go by what they see and experience when they go outside weather it is hot, cold, or raining. It is important for these farmers to have attention because some crops could be imports to other countries, or food for themselves and their family; if their crops are ruined by weather, that is money and resources that can not be saved. One of the technologies that was talked about in the article was a tech-based option for micro-climate forecasts. This could help give the small farmers a leg up when taking care of their crops and making the countries path to being a developed country a little shorter. -E.D. Somonauk

Devon said...

I think that it is a grate idea to give other country tips and technology that could help them improve there product.

unknown said...

Technology would be very helpful cause it would allow the farmers to do their jobs more easier and efficient

Karen Grother said...

It's a good idea to involve small farmers from small countries good technology, because even though they're from a small place, their crops and other resources could be vital to agriculture. Some crops in the other small countries could be only grown in that small country, making it more valuable a product.

BD said...

Helping family farms/farms in general should be at the forefront of the helping agriculture be successful in the next decade. With rising input costs and falling prices of livestock and grain, we need to recognize this problem and find a solution to help farmer, so they can keep there heads above water. With this article I believe people with recognize this issue and begin to support the family farm.

nick said...

i think that technology could be a huge help to people in developing country's because they could see what other people are doing to solve the same problems they are having. for example some one could create a new way to filter water that is cheep and easy to use and that could solve some ones drinking water problem that they would not know is exists without the internet

Devon said...

I think that it is a grate idea to give other country tips and technology that could help them improve there product.

paadams said...

Technology can help farmers in developing countries by helping them adapt to the impacts of climate change. With the help of technology, developing countries can also produce their own food to go along with the rising population.

laroyer said...

Informative technologies are important for small farmers because they really only rely on crops to make money. When there is bad weather, and crops are destroyed small farmers are loosing money, or even food supply for themselves and others. If a small farmer's crops were ever to get destroyed by weather and cause the small farmer to go poor, in the article it states how information and communication technologies have a profound impact on the efficiency, resilience and inclusion of poor family farmers.

Unknown said...

Bringing technology to rural farmers in small countries is a very smart move globally to try and help with world hungry. Helping these small farmers to get any edge they can to help increase their crops could improve life for not just them but everyone around them.

Safrancis said...

In my opinion, Using technology in developing countries would be extremely helpful, as you cannot control how weather and climate changes effect your crops. The people in other unfortunate, dry countries completely rely on the crops they grow and what they farm in order to make any sort of profit. In the article, they mentioned a tech-based option for microclimate forecasting. This would allow for better weather forecasts for farmers.

BV said...

Giving small farmers attention could help them in many ways and could help stop hunger around the world. Giving them just a little more attention then what they already get could help them improve what they grow and how much they grow.

cory gustafson said...

It is amazing the things we can do with technology also how technology always get more and more complex.

unknown said...

Technology would be helpful, cause it would allow the farmers to do their jobs more easier and efficient

IG said...

i think that technology is great for farmers because it can raise crop production and help by getting farming done faster and easier.

Josh Swenson said...

technology is helpful but some farmers might see it as an invasion of privacy.

Brandon K said...

information technology could be helpful to small family owned farms because it could help them prepare for certain climate changes or for if there are certain bugs that thrive of their crop and technology could help them prepare for them by spraying their crops.

MRK said...

I believe that giving more attention and technology to countries that need it will help the people with managing natural resources, promoting sustainable agriculture, and strengthening food security. Along with those aspects, I believe that technology could help areas with dry climate to get better and healthier drinking water and resilience to drought.

MH said...

I think that small countries and farmers need this type of technology to prepare better for natural disasters. They also could use knowledge about climate change to learn more about how it affects them.

Reagan Orzech said...

Agriculture plays a major role in the economic and social development in most undeveloped and developing countries. With an excelling growing population and an expected amount of around 9 billion people in 2050, agriculture is essential to small farmers as it brings them income, makes productive use of their land, and brings food to the table. Unfortunately, without the proper technology and information, small family farmers in these areas are struggling to fight against climate change, food insecurity, and a lack of resources. However, with the appropriate attention and funds for information technologies, these overlooked workers could potentially make more quality decisions regarding their crops, livestock, and more in order to positively increase their productivity. This is essential as more knowledge means a better lifestyle for the farmers, the community, and eventually those globally. Basically, with these new technologies, which allow farmers to track weather conditions, send information on the moisture of their soil, and communicate about their sales and purchases, we are initiating a hopeful chain reaction. With simple tools that individuals in the United States may take for granted, such as radios, computers, and microclimate forecasts, these farmers are starting to have more efficient ways of communicating with others, record keeping, and discovering the potential rainfall or humidity on a certain day. Specifically, in my community and agriculture program, we are very grateful to have a class set of LabQuests which allow us to test the pH of the soil in our field and keep data. Also, with a grant, we were able to purchase a drone which will hopefully provide us with images that can allow us to detect patterns or problems in our crops this year. Overall, information technology in agriculture is helping us keep up and battle occurring problems.

My question: Do many farmers in developing countries refuse new technologies because they want to stick with their traditional ways? -R.O Somonauk

Brad Kinsinger said...

In regards to your question. I do believe some do not adapt new technologies, because they are going to do things the way they have always been done (we even see that sometimes in the U.S.). They are scared of change. Another factor is the risk/fear of trying something new. If they try something new and it fails they put themselves at risk to not be able to feed their family.

We have found that if you can find a "safe" way to test new technologies and show farmers in that area what works and what does not they will be more likely to try it. We are seeing this with fertilizer/soil nutrition trials in Haiti. We are working with a university that can then share the techniques with farmers in Haiti so the farmers don't take on the initial risk.

Reagan Orzech said...

Thank you Mr. Kinsinger for your response! I never realized the different factors that can play into a families fear and the possible solutions to fix these problems. I am excited to hear and learn more about the Haiti trials!

G.C said...

Information technologies are so important to small family farmers in developing countries because they depend on farming to survive and to support their families and communities.It is so important to give attention to small farmers in developing countries because they need help to improve and better their practices in agriculture.Technologies are being developed that will help farmers in developing countries like high-resolution satellites and micro climate forecasts. These technologies will help developing countries use the ability to know weather forecasts in their farming and to be able to monitor natural resources. I think both of these technologies will help developing countries to climb up the ladder and thrive with their agriculture practices.
-G.C

Unknown said...

It is very important for new technologies to be introduced into developing countries, especially with our rapidly growing population. By the year 2050 the world population is bound to reach 9 billion, and these developing countries that are lacking necessary technologies and have only small farms are expected to unrealistically feed a large amount of people. Some technologies that are already beginning to be incorporated into these developing countries is Google's creation that allows farmers to manage and monitor their natural resources and strengthen their food security. Another beneficial creation that is being introduced to developing countries are microclimate forecasts for countries that do no have meteorological services previously established. In our small, farming community there is plenty of technology that is used within agriculture. Our local FFA chapter has recently purchases a drone in order to survey our pumpkin patch that we plant every year. Also, since we are a farming community there are plenty of farmers who take advantage of the technology presented to them when they are planting and harvesting their own fields. In today's day an age technology is definitely useful and almost necessary to be successful and produce a quality crop.
- JP, Somonauk

M.P. said...

Information technologies are so important to small family farms in developing countries because that is how they make a living. Without technologies, families of developing countries would struggle to make money and food. Attention on these farmers is super important because they need help with farming, so they can improve their ways. One technology that is being developed to help farmers is a high-resolution satellite data to monitor and manage natural resources, promote sustainable agriculture, and strengthen food security.
Another technology is micro-climate forecasts,to improve the forecast for farmers. I think both of these technologies will be a great improvement to small family farms in developing countries. Some technologies used in our town include drones and tractor navigation apps which help farmers survey their fields and help with guiding/steering, and yield management.

McKenna said...

Technology in the agriculture world is very vital when it comes to communication, which is known as e-agriculture. E-agriculture involves the design, development, evaluation and applications of specific crops and livestock. This communication technology can help find advancements for crops and livestock and decrease the amount of people and places in poverty, food scarcity, water scarcity, over/under production, etc. These advancements can help developing countries who are lacking some of their needs (food, water, shelter) only if they depend on their social and economic networks. Ellen McCullough, a former researcher for Sandford Food Security and the Environment Program, once stated, “Most people tend to think that technology information flows to farmers through a direct pipeline from scientists, but that isn't true." McCullough wrote an article and is running a study on how farmers adapt to new technology. She found that most farmers adopt successful technologies when they collaborate with credit unions, researches, other farmers, local establishments, and community members. My grandfather and his dad were farmers and often tell me stories about their life on the farm. By what it sounds like, they constantly kept making changes with their technology and had a wide range of communication links which led their farm to be very prosperous.

McKenna said...

-M.P. Somonauk

katiek said...

Information technologies are very important to small farmers in developing countries. They are so important because the people solely dependent on farming for their survival. These technologies have the opportunity to truly benefit the farmers and help them out in areas they are struggling such as dealing with climate change. It is important to give attention to these small farmers because of the rapidly growing population. With the population and food scarcity on the rise very one is needed, even these small farmers. Some technologies being created are micro climate forecasts. Many of these underdeveloped countries do not have access to weather forcasts. These forcasts would greatly benifit the farmer and allow them to plan ahead. Another strategy being used is to help countries deal with water scarcity. This strategy allows them to carefully communicate and use their water during droughts.
kk somonauk

Cassidy Johnson said...

The United States and many other developed countries are very fortunate to have access to almost unlimited amounts of technology; technology that not only enhances our personal lives but also our professional lives as well. For many developing or underdeveloped countries that may not always be the case. However, with the continuing push to get new beneficial technologies to the hands of small family farmers in these developing countries the technology gap will eventually be closed. Getting technology that can provide reliable weather forecasts to small family farmers can greatly increase their chances of having a more successful harvest when the time comes. Knowing when it is going to rain or not would greatly help these small family farms in that they would know if they needed to go out and provide extra water to their crops and livestock, or if they should begin to prepare their land for an excess of rainfall. With a growing population that is expected to surpass 9 billion by 2050 small family farmers are the future for feeding the world. They will be the ones not only providing food for their own family, but also for the other families of their communities. Helping the small family farmers learn to use new technologies will help them increase crop production, which will help them feed more people, which in turn will help them someday be able to farm larger amounts of land and become more successful. For the most part these small family farmers need different technologies then we do here in the United States, they do not need a combine or a large fertilizing sprayer they need to be taught good basic farming techniques. The small family farmers need to be taught the best way to farm given their geographic location. Farmers way up in the mountains need a different set of skills and technologies than those in a rain forest do. They each need to be taught how to properly irrigate and fertilize their crops to increase their success rate. The continuation of developing fertilizers and resilient crops along with getting weather forecasting technology in the hands of these farmers will greatly pay off in the long run and eventually begin to affect the global agricultural market in a more positive way. As for my own community, we are very fortunate to have an extremely successful agriculture program at my school that is constantly investing in new technologies that not only benefit our fields but also in the classroom learning. C.R.J-Somonauk

R.S. said...

Although we live in a country where technology is an easy access, that is not the case for many developing countries. There are over millions of small family farmers who are in need of technical and financial assistance. Information technologies are so important to small family farmers in developing countries because they need information and technology tools to help them not just get by, but thrive and feed a growing world population that is suppose to surpass 9 billion by the year 2050. They need these technologies to take on the different climate changes. These people rely on the growth of their crops to not only feed themselves, but their families and also to take to markets to provide for those around them too. Some technologies being created to help and benefit these farmers in developing countries are tech-based options for providing them with microclimate forecasts and with help from Google to get high-resolution satellite data to become an everyday tool to monitor and manage natural resources, promote sustainable agriculture, and strengthen food security. With access to weather forecasts these farmers would benefit by getting reliable forecasts and have a greater chance at producing a good crop. Where I live we have many different technologies right at our finger tips. As for the rest of the world, they are not all so lucky. To help different types of resources need to be available to them. They do not exactly need the same type of farming skills that we have in the United States, but a more simple yet effective way to farm and to learn different ways that will benefit them in their climate zone and location. With new information and technologies, these developing countries could ultimately provide more and more food and help to their countries. R.S-Somonauk

pencesam said...

Countries that do have machines to farm with tend to have better products and make less mistakes. It is crucial to realize that eventually it will be to difficult to compete to the farms that are industrialized. Developing countries defiantly need to see and try to experience these new technological advances. Since the population keep growing, there are obviously more mouths to feed. In today's time there isn't a large amount of farmers, even though we rely on their products to survive. So, the farms still using old methods such as manual labor take more time to finish a harvest or a dairy collection. These machines help get the job done faster, as well as help you get ahead in climate changes. Although a few countries are taking advantage of the change, such as using devices to predict weather, check their own resources. It would be interesting to see if we presented a trail to small farms with the new technical advances, and see if they truly understood the benefits and were more open to using these devices and machines.
-S.P Somonauk

AC said...

Informative technologies are very important to small farmers in developing countries because their crops are the way they make money. It is important for people in developed countries to loan a hand to these small farmers because, not only is it the right thing to do, but it is also what was done for those countries when they were in a time of hardship. Statistically, the world population is estimated to surpass 9 billion people by the year 2050. Due to climate change, the information technologies will allow small farmers to prepare for the worst. Without the information technologies, the families will not have a reliable forecast of upcoming weather that could be damaging to their crops. With new technology, these countries could improve so greatly. They could provide more food for all the different families and make money to provide for their own. A.C-Somonauk

M.E.T said...

Information technologies are important to small family farms in developing countries because they need the means necessary to create resilient crops as well as adapt to the impacts of climate change. It is important that they are able to do this because by the year 2050 over 9 billion people will be on this earth and we need to feed them, which is why it is important that they are able to feed themselves and their community as well as the growing population. We rely heavily on farmers and the crops they produce, and so if we supply these developing countries with the technology to improve their crops they will be able to increase their food supply and in turn help feed the growing population. From prior research it’s noticeable that some countries don’t want to change their means of traditional farming, which is why it is important that rather than giving them technology and money we need to show them how to utilize it, so they see the benefits and realize that this change will improve not only their crops, but their health and community through these resilient/adapted crops.

unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
unknown said...

Informative technologies are crucial for small farmers in developing countries because these farmers completely rely on their crops for money. The small farmers just have to go by what they are given during their process to grow. The weather, soil, and water to grow the crps aren't in their hands. It is important for small farmers to be given attention because some crops could be imports to other countries to make money or food for their community. If their crops are ruined by weather then their hard work is put down the drain One of the technologies that was talked about in the article was a tech-based option for micro-climate forecasts. This could help give the small farmers become smarter and control the crop in a better way instead of just chance. ST Somonauk

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