Former ICT4D Student Blogs about Cell Phones in Africa

As part of her internship with Food Tank, former IDEV4100:ICT4D (Fall 2011 semester) student Suzannah Schneider authored this blog entitled “Five Ways Cell Phones are Changing Agriculture In Africa.” The post lists some familiar ideas, such as using mobile phones to access market prices and weather information, as well as receive useful information via SMS messages. However, it also mentions some more specific and innovative ideas such as iCow and micro-insurance. Based on your experiences in our class, what are your thoughts on these 5 applications of mobiles for agricultural development?

More information about Food Tank can be found in this video: “The Food Think Tank Trailer

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About jessports

PhD candidate at Tulane University, studying ICT4D, M4D, and applications of technology in disasters and humanitarian aid. Proud member of the American Red Cross for 14+ years, focusing on international humanitarian law, disaster services technology, young professional engagement, and disaster volunteer training. Nerdy New Orleans cosplayer, lover of all things sci-fi, including Star Trek & Doctor Who. View all posts by jessports

2 responses to “Former ICT4D Student Blogs about Cell Phones in Africa

  • dbarnes4

    For all of these applications, the use of community phones would seem beneficial. Especially for the micro-insurance app, communities with less access or purchasing power would benefit from sharing a mobile device. I wonder if this is common practice with these apps. Also, the iCow app was a result of the iHub initiative in Kenya and it’s cool to see that it is spreading successfully.

  • ohaberer

    I am personally fascinated with ICT applications in the realm of agriculture, although I would like to read about applications more relevant to the rapidly growing urban agriculture in large cities. I would like to read more about application that advise what crops to grow based on aggregate data on weather, climate, health benefits, nutrient dependency, and soil/composting conditions. I am skeptical about the micro-insurance application, as I see how it might be tremendously beneficial for wide-scale farms, but fail to see how it would be cost-effective for smaller family farm. I am also confused as to how accurately iCow monitors the gestation periods of certain cows. I think the access to market SMS system is a great tool to empower farmers.

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