LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Category Archives: Agriculture

Coding for a cause

While the rest of the Sri Lanka slept peacefully, a considerable number of young and enthusiastic programmers gave up sleep this weekend – but for a good cause. Anyone dropping in to the WSO2 offices in Colombo the early hours of Saturday or Sunday morning would have been greeted by the sight of exhausted but […]

Code4Good: Can volunteer coders develop apps that will help smallholders participate in agri supply chains

For the past week or so, LIRNEasia’s ICT for agriculture researchers have been interacting with three groups of coders who want to respond to our pitch described below. In Sri Lanka, a considerable amount of information relevant to farmers involved in the export sector is held within government departments and Ministries. How can we create […]

Agriculture proposals in three major party platforms for 2015 Sri Lanka General Election

I’ve been invited to moderate a three party discussion on live TV organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, on the government SLRC channel at 10 PM today. In preparing for the task, I read through the economic proposals contained in the General Election manifestos of the JVP, the UPFA and the UNP. Given our […]

Presentation at University of Alberta Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences

Today the research team had an opportunity to present findings from our work at a research colloquium hosted by the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta. Here, Chandana Jayathilake is describing the campaigns conducted as part of the project. Original post at: 

What we have learned about ICT and agriculture over eight years, summarized to three minutes

To get the “talk show” at the FAO-ITU workshop on e agriculture rolling we were asked to give a three-minute summary of what we had learned. This was a good opportunity to distill eight years of learning. At LIRNEasia we have looked at the role ICTs can play in agriculture both at the micro and […]

Thoughts on success and failure in e agriculture

At the FAO-ITU e agriculture workshop that I am attending in Bangkok, I was asked to respond to a question on failure of ICT projects in agriculture and why. I responded, saying I will speak only about our activities. I said that the market information system Harsha de Silva started as an e Sri Lanka […]

ICT in agriculture. The future is here. It’s just unevenly distributed.

In 2010 I wrote a piece of science fiction. It was published in an academic book, so it came out in 2013 as “e South Asia: A social science fiction,” in South Asia in 2060: Envisioning regional futures, eds. Najam, A. & Yusuf, M., chapter 26. London: Anthem. This is what I said about agriculture […]

Post-campaign meetings: Dept of Export Agriculture (Kurunegala)

The Sri Lanka Department of Export Agriculture (DOEA) sponsored two campaigns in the Kurunegala district, with ginger farmers in the north area and pepper farmers in the south area. Both campaigns were intended to improve the efficiency and timeliness of communication between DOEA extension officers and local farmers. Both campaigns used text messaging and both […]

ICT enhanced agriculture: Imaginings coming true

Academic publication moves at a snail’s pace. A chapter that I wrote for a futures book that came out in 2013 was actually written in 2010. This is what I said about agriculture: The move to a knowledge-based economy did not mean the end of agriculture, but the blending of agriculture and knowledge. The massive […]

Agriculture big data: Where it exists in datafied form, concerns re what can be done with it

US agriculture was early to use ICTs to improve efficiency. I recall sharing stories of information-savvy farmers with my classes in Ohio in the early 1990s. Now data is available of soil and weather conditions at a micro-level and farmers are beginning to be concerned that this big data when combined with other data could […]

LIRNEasia at conference on food security

LIRNEasia was invited to participate in the symposium on Food System Innovation in South and Southeast Asia. The event was organised by the Michigan State University (MSU) and The Energy Resource Institute (TERI) in New Delhi, India. The symposium largely featured research on climate change, population growth, irrigation, land use and agriculture innovations. These were […]

Little data, thanks to smartphones

Little data is as bad a term as big data. Really tells you very little. But sadly that is what the New York Times has chosen to use. And I have not had time to come up with something little more insightful. David Soloff is recruiting an army of “hyperdata” collectors. The company he co-founded, […]

LIRNEasia research utilized in FAO report

In April 2012, LIRNEasia participated in a regional FAO workshop held in Bangkok. The workshop brought together representatives from the agriculture ministries/ departments of 10 countries in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam), FAO personnel as well as the private sector, including operators of Mobile Agricultural Information Services (MAIS). […]

Mobiles improve a market, but harm AIDS/HIV prevention

We have always been interested in how mobile technology can reduce the frictions of time and space and thereby improve the functioning of markets. If the market being improved is that for agri produce, there is no disagreement. Eliminating the middle (wo)man would call forth a wave of approbation. But in the case being reported, […]

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 […]


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