Agricultural research

Issue no. 70
February 2013



In this issue

ICTs are having a direct impact on the way in which agricultural researchers carry out their work. Research results are delivered to an increasing number of end users. They, in turn, are now using ICTs to provide researchers with updated information on their agricultural activities. ICTs are enabling a two-way engagement. Read how and where in this issue of ICT Update.

Promoting interactivity

ICTs can help researchers to interact with farmers. The challenge lies in finding a way of integrating traditional and new communication technologies to send agricultural and market information to farmers.

Research-based advice for farmers

Based on information from soil samples in Africa, ICT tools have been developed to gather more specific information and disseminate research results to farmers by using text messages.

Sharing local knowledge

Researchers now use ICTs to gather information more effectively from the field. ICTs also give them the possibility to help share knowledge in local communities.

The right information at the right time

Multidisciplinary institutions need to develop, use and sustain ICT innovations for linking research, extension and markets, thereby bringing research into practice.



'The shift to cloud computing will cut the total cost of scientific computing and also present new opportunities for international agriculture.'

Enrica Porcari, chief information officer at CGIAR.



'Only 10% of African agricultural research institutions facilitate active online discussions to interact with their stakeholders'

Myra Wopereis-Pura, international consultant, former director of knowledge and technology at FARA.



KoBoToolbox provides an integrated suite of mobile applications for digital data collection which you can customise to fit any field research need.


Research to Action is a website catering for the strategic and practical needs of people trying to improve the uptake of development research. Useful for development researchers in general who would like to be more strategic and effective in their communications.

The UbuntuNet Alliance is helping to usher southern and eastern Africa’s academic institutions into the internet age. Academics in 13 African countries are now connected with the world through UbuntuNet routers in London and Amsterdam.

Information and Communication Management Strategy Development Based on a thorough review of what had been done in this field, CTA embarked on the development of two publications – a Facilitator’s guide and a User’s manual – in collaboration with ICM and KM practitioners.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) currently has a database of about 8,300 journals. As awareness about scholarly communication increased in recent years, this number is even greater if one takes into account the papers published in other Open Access repositories. Together, these form a much larger worldwide database.

DRUSSA Online is a digital platform that provides direct support to universities at the individual, institutional and systems levels to improve participation in and impact on policy and practice. Central to this programme is the promotion Research Uptake Management (RUM), an emerging university management field.

Open API
This knowledge service by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) provides easy programmatic free access to tens of thousands of thematically organised research documents. Organisations can use this API to access, repurpose and contextualise this research information to serve their needs.

Mahider is the name of the International Livestock Research Institute’s (ILRI) research publications and products repository. It is an index and repository of research outputs and publications produced or sponsored by ILRI.

Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) has developed a number of agricultural extension animations. Researchers can record their own video or audio segments using nothing more than a computer, webcam and microphone with freely available software.

Adopting ICT in agriculture This paper contributes to a better understanding of adoption success factors and adoption problems of ICT in agriculture. It also highlights e-Agriculture as an emerging field in agricultural and rural development research communication efforts.