Information and Communication Technology for Agriculture

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Lydet

By Lydet PIDOR

ICT Learning Officer
Development Innovations


Information and Communication Technology for Agriculture is all about how we can use ICT to solve agricultural issues, increase productivity and improve markets for smallholder farms and value chains. According to World Bank, the population of Cambodia is 15.58 million, and its agriculture helped four million people out of poverty (World Bank 2015).

 

This year, a team of young Cambodians developed an app to tackle one of these issues. Their app wound up placing as a semi-finalist for Technovation, a global technology entrepreneurship program. This competition is one of a kind because its contestants are all girls, aged 10 to 19, who identify community issues and create mobile applications to address these problems.  Over the course of three months, contestants learn the basics of entrepreneurship and coding, while also designing the business plans and pitches for their ideas.  They ultimately present these plans to panels of leading experts in the field who determine the year’s winners. In 2016, over 800 teams around the world participated in the Technovation competition.

 

Orientation

Orientation workshop about 2016 Technovation program in Cambodia

 

Ligeek_16 is a team made up of five girls aged 13 and 14. They won the top prize for their middle school age group at the 1st National Pitch event for Technovation program in Cambodia in April. Overall, they placed as a semi-finalist among the 14 teams who participated in this year’s 3rd annual Technovation program in Cambodia.

 

However, the agricultural market system is complicated, diversified and not transparent to its numerous stakeholders.  Traders find it difficult to quality controlled vegetables through formal markets and to maintain a predictable supply at the wholesale local market (Itagaki, 2010). After noticing that farmers found it difficult to access market information, like unit prices, sales data and even basic contact details for buyers, Ligeek_16 created a prototype mobile application called ImEx, which stands for “Import Export”. The app aims to improve access for farmers and other agricultural stakeholders (the supply) to their consumers (the demand). The app allows both parties to access and gather market information by creating a forum for each side to ask questions and post answers about how to better respond to the market needs on each side.

Solutions

Presentation slide of Ligeek_2016

 

Even though Ligeek_16 won’t be going to the global Technovation event in San Francisco this June, they plan on continuing their work with ImEx and using ICT tools. After the National Pitch event, the team took home a tablet and $200 in cash to share.

Sreynith and Sreyneang

Sreynith and Sreyneang are working on their app prototype via coding

This is second year for Ligeek_2016 that was selected to the semi-final round and they are committed to keep working on their app and improving it for their potential users.

Ligeek_16
 

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Resources:

Itagaki, Keishiro (2010). Present Status of Agricultural and Possibility for Increased Export of Food and Agricultural Products in Cambodia.  International Journal of Environmental and Rural Development. 1(1): 86-90.