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Competition to Examine Role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Agriculture For Pacific Youth And Smallholder Agriculture Enterprises

SPC is the guardian for the Pacific Youth in Agriculture Strategy; in 2008 Ministers of Agriculture called on SPC Land Resources Division to find ways to increase participation of youth in agriculture. The competition is a collaborative effort with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and national extension services to assess the extent ICTs (including a combination of traditional and new media) play a role in agriculture and rural development. The competition is a lead up to the 5th Regional Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services and 3rd Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry meetings to be held in September 2012 in Nadi, Fiji. The competition will be in two categories, one for youth and for smallholder agricultural enterprises linked to markets. The organisers want to examine ICTs role to play in the agriculture production and supply chain such as seedling nurseries, farm inputs, credit, transport, information, harvesting, processing, and linking to markets. Youth and ICTs Youths are more likely to use new technology, and this exercise targets youth using ICTs for agriculture development. Smallholder producers are embracing ICTs to manage their agricultural enterprises such as linking to suppliers and markets. The proliferation of mobile phones and the competitive mobile market have placed this technology in high demand. Access to computers and smartphones are increasingly accessible as prices and plans for these technologies become competitive. An Internet connection links to the vast resources available on the world wide web; on-line tools help with marketing, branding and reaching new clients. Social networks, blogging and SMS are common platforms to communicate. Eligibility Criteria  1. Two categories - youth (18 - 30 yrs), and smallholder agricultural enterprises. 2. Participants must be Pacific islanders residing in any of the 22 SPC member countries and territories 3. Demonstrated strategic use of ICTs as a tool to achieve goals and/or business plan. Assessment of submissions Based on submission of real situations where ICTs are demonstrated to play a part in the enterprise strategy or business plan. Document the integration of ICTs (or combination of technologies) into the farming enterprise. A panel of agricultural experts at Land Resources Division will assess the validity of the submissions based on this specifi c criteria. Winning entries will be documented best practices of the role ICTs play in agriculture and rural development, and of how youths and smallholder agricultural enterprises use ICTs to improve agriculture. Submission of entries Written submissions demonstrating the role of ICTs. Entries (entry form overleaf) can be submitted by email, blog site, or any of the social media networks (provide evidence with photos or videos of enterprise) and demonstrate where ICT plays an active role in achieving goals and strategies. SUBMIT WRITTEN ENTRIES VIA EMAIL: lrdhelpdesk@spc.int ; or fax (679) 377 0021; (SPC Pacific island member countries and territories: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna) Presentation of awards will be held at a side event at the Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry Conference to be held in September 2012 in Nadi. Winning entries will be showcased at the awards presentation. Prize money for each winning entry: US$1,000 The Entry form for the competition can be viewed and Downloaded on this Link: Entry Form for Competition Source: http://www.spc.int/ Read Original Post on this Link: COMPETITION: The role of Information and Communication Technologies in agriculture for Pacific youth and smallholder enterprises