20 May 2016. CTA has released during WSIS 2016, held in Geneva 2-6 May 2016, a new publication titled: Lessons for Sustainability – Failing to Scale ICT4Ag-enabled Services.
“ICTs have undoubted potential to boost agricultural production and value chains in ACP countries. But many efforts to introduce ICTs for this purpose have not been sustainable”. Michael Hailu, CTA Director
To address this problem, Failing to Scale provides nine overall lessons to inform the design of future projects on ICT4Ag. These lessons derive mainly from the case studies described in the publication, but also draw from other sources such as the World Bank’s ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook.
Briefly, the nine lessons are:
- Consult with farmers, traders and extension workers to accurately assess demand
- Work with extension workers and other existing service providers
- Provide services in local languages and be aware that women are sometimes denied access to technology
- Decide who will implement the service in the long term
- Do not pre-commit to a specific ICT solution
- Keep projects simple – scale up can always happen later if a pilot is successful
- Develop a viable business model
- Make sure project costs are sustainable, and not simply led by initial donor support
- Do not ignore the costs of providing training and promotion.