In St Lucia, Joining ICT and Agriculture

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Above: St Lucia

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Caribbean governments are looking to the importance of the Information and Communication Technology more and more often.

And its reach is expanding to areas one might not traditionally associate with ICT, such as agriculture, according to Kelly-Ann Phillips, a business development consultant in St Lucia.

“Traditionally, agriculture is not a sector that was associated with technology per se,” she said last week. “As technology consultants, we see that the development of every sector is dependent on ICT.”

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation of the EU-ACP (CAT), in collaboration with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries and Rural Development and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) recently hosted a five-day Web 2.0 learning opportunity for St Lucians last week.

The application of technology to agriculture is becoming more prevalent in developing countries, including Africa, she said, where farmers are now using mobile phone applications to receive information and exchange best practices.

One such application in use is the iCow application, used in Kenya, which tracks cows individually and keeps information like gestation calendars, records and other data.

“We have seen ways that farmers and persons in agriculture can benefit from technology,” she said. “So thats why we’re expanding it to the agricultural sector as well, to let people know how you can leverage technology even in the field of agriculture to make your business more productive.”