e-Agriculture offers solutions to regional challenges – Coordinator, Food and Agriculture Organisation


  • Guyana can ensure food security in the region

DPI, Guyana, Monday, July 9, 2018

Sub-Regional Coordinator of the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Dr. Lystra Fletcher-Paul today said Guyana, considered as the breadbasket of the Caribbean, can incorporate the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to advance its agriculture sector and ultimately ensure food and nutrition security in the region.

Speaking at the opening of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s (CTU) ICT Roadshow, Fletcher-Paul said that agriculture in the region faces numerous challenges including low productivity, poor access to markets, high labour costs and threats associated with climate change.

Sub-Regional Coordinator, UN FAO, Dr. Lystra Fletcher-Paul.

In light of this, the FAO Coordinator pointed to the solutions which e-Agriculture offers to overcome these challenges.

Through the use of ICTs, “policy-makers, farmers, fisherfolk, now have at their fingertips access to information on new and innovative technology which can help them make informed decisions to increase their productivity,” she noted.

Reference was made to recently developed apps that provide information on disease and pest control, land suitability and satellite data on precision agriculture.

A few years ago, the FAO worked closely with the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) to develop a market information system which provides information on various commodities, the volumes available and cost.

There is also a locally developed mobile phone app that provides farmers with information on available markets for their produce.

The roadshow, she noted, offers an opportunity for information sharing on how e-Agriculture can be used to further develop the local agriculture sector.

“Most importantly, it will help to build your capacity to develop e-Agriculture national strategies,” Fletcher-Paul noted.

Incorporating e-Agriculture is especially important, as agriculture provides opportunities for rural development, income generation, youth employment and improved livelihood.

Development in the sector is essential to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) two of eradicating hunger by 2030, the FAO Coordinator stated.

By: Stacy Carmichael.

Image: Keno George.