Technical developments in information and telecommunications technology (ICT), together with associated legal, ethical, and social developments are providing an environment where scientists from developed and developing countries can collaborate to address real problems of food security and development.
Aspects of this enabling technology are improved connectivity between developed and developing countries, availability of open-source applications which are both cheap and amenable to innovative local adaptation and the emergence of global software and platform services which lower the infrastructure barriers to accessing state-of-the-art computer applications.
This technology allows the sharing of the scientific information necessary to address these problems, but there remain issues of quantity relevance and complexity of information, quality and ownership of data, and capacity to use and contribute relevant data and information.
ICT also has a role to play in the “last mile” problem of disseminating information to farmers. Innovative strategies for combining Internet, telecommunications, video, and print technologies at appropriate levels are bridging this gap and empowering farmers to make better production and marketing decisions. ICT is, however, no substitute for attention to quality knowledge presented in understandable format.
Advances in Agronomy (2009) 102, 135-157 [doi: 10.1016/S0065-2113(09)01004-9]