A one-week International workshop on Agricultural Market Informations Systems (MIS) and ICT Platforms for Business Management Across the Value Chain is being organised by International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), Co-sponsered by the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation ACP-EU (CTA) scheduled to take place from 8-12 December, 2014 at Naura Springs Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.
Drawing on lessons learned and best practices from IFDC and partner organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, the program is designed to meet expectations of all stakeholders involved with a MIS on both the supply and demand sides, notably public and private MIS managers, policy analysts and policymakers, agro-processors, extension workers, agribusiness specialists, bankers, transporters, exporters, leaders of trade and producer organizations, researchers and users in academic institutions, and all others who work on data management and agricultural trade-related programs. Representatives of local and central governments and ministries involved in agriculture, trade, economic planning and policies and procurement, as well as international development agencies and NGOs supporting those sectors will find the program extremely useful.
Market information systems have tremendously evolved in the last decade due to the increase in the availability and use of cell phones and Internet, which are transforming the agribusiness landscape in Africa. Between 2000 and 2012, the number of mobile phone subscribers has accelerated to reach nearly 750 million with an impressive 38 percent compound annual growth rate (based on ITU data accessed on October 30, 2013). Also, during the same period, the percentage of Internet users has increased annually by 27 percent. In some cases, these emerging ICT platform solutions have been successfully developed and have contributed to more inclusive market information systems and agricultural value chains. More information about the workshop can be accessed from here.