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Hypothesizing ICT4D in Philippine Agriculture: Deriving from Trends, Setting Directions

The yield gap in rice production can be narrowed by improving farmers’ access to information. In recent years, the Philippines has witnessed a profusion of information and communication technology (ICT) interventions expected to increase Filipino famers’ access to rice farming information, led by the PhilRice Farmers’ Text Center. Despite these initiatives, the digital divide further excludes the marginalized. Drawing from literature on ICT for development (ICT4D) and recent trends in Philippine ICT, this paper proposes policy directions that can be pursued by the agriculture sector for more relevant ICT interventions (i.e., making technology generation participatory, marrying of disciplines, exploring technological hybrids, focusing on critical evaluation of ICTs, and tapping farmers’ children as infomediaries). It is essential to engage farmers in various stages (i.e., from design to evaluation) of ICT initiatives to maximize the impact of ICTs on their lives and to avoid the misdirection of ICT interventions.

Vol. 8 No. 2, December 2011

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