Women remain the main contributors to agricultural production, and in many societies they are responsible for ensuring that food for their families is on the table. Providing women with relevant information on agriculture is a very important strategy to improving productivity and livelihoods.
“e-Agriculture” is an emerging field comprising the enhancement of agriculture and rural development through improved information exchange, communication and learning processes, based on the use of internet and other digital technologies by actors in agriculture locally, regionally and worldwide.
Civil society organisations have embarked on using ICTs to enable women/rural communities to access information on how to improve on the quality of their products, acquire improved seeds and crop varieties, source of inputs, diseases and pests control, soil management and conservation and how to improve their production skills. In Uganda they include among others WOUGNET that has an information centre in Northern Uganda, BROSDI- CELAC project based in Mayuge, CEEWA Uganda – Wires project with beneficiaries in Nakaseke, Buwama and other areas. RANET-Uganda and ARENET are other initiatives that make use ICTs to promote agricultural production.
Radio programmes, use of SMS as well as audiotapes, video tapes and CD-ROMs are used to disseminate/share agricultural related information to farmers. Websites are also increasingly being used to disseminate information on market prices, trade support services, business and entrepreneurship tips, best practices in Agriculture etc.
The Radio and Internet Program (RANET) provides information on weather, water, and climate to rural and remote populations in the form of environmental forecasts, observations, and warnings in the hope of promoting sustainable development and reducing disaster losses. In Uganda the RANET programme is implemented by the meteorological department.
E-Agriculture presents an opportunity of increasing income and reducing poverty among rural communities and women; there is need for more e-agriculture projects to be set up in rural areas given that they depend largely on agriculture.