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Low-cost ICTs in Agriculture – Workshop Report

Several Canadian and Sri Lankan organizations held a workshop in Peradeniya on Oct. 15 to provide an introduction to and basic training in the use of free and open source software (FOSS) to enable agricultural community groups and individuals to implement and use easily-accessible tools for communication, information collection, knowledge sharing, data visualization, and interactive mapping.

Participants were introduced to four Free and Open Source software platforms that are in wide use around the world: FrontlineSMS and FrontlineSMS:Radio for text messaging, Freedom Fone for creating small scale interactive voice response systems with telephones, and Ushahidi for creating and curating interactive maps with geo located reports from mobile devices (i.e., crowdmapping).

It was is part of a Canadian funded partnership development project to establish and support the activities of an emerging international and multi organizational research partnership with the broad goal of enhancing capacity for local innovation through appropriate and sustainable ICTs. To this end, the project partners are working together to develop a set of case studies that will examine how academic institutions, government agencies and international organizations can work with local communities to enhance knowledge mobilization for sustainable farming practices using low cost, widely accessible information and communication technologies such as mobile phones and radio broadcasting.

Click to read the Full Report.

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