FRAMEWORK FOR ASSESSING NATIONAL E-AGRICULTURE READINESS
The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) has as its mission, to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in ACP countries. One of CTA’s work areas is promoting the application of ICTs for agricultural value chain development, and for agriculture and rural development policy processes. As part of this work focus, the CTA sought to develop a generic e-Agriculture Readiness Assessment Framework (e-ARAF) to objectively assess the capability of a nation’s agricultural sector to benefit from the uptake and usage of new ICTs.
This framework facilitates this assessment along the five core areas or pillars: (a) business environment; (b) governance (structure and guidelines); (c) human resource capability; (d) psychographics (culture and mindset); (e) ICT infrastructure.The e-ARAF is based on the INFOCOMM Technologies Ltd e-Readiness Framework – one of the few e-readiness frameworks which gives significant holistic consideration to factors beyond issues of access to devices, software, connectivity and human capacity. The Framework gives attention complementarily to broader issues, including the business environment, sector governance and the ICT culture and mindset.It is expected that the e-ARAF will be matured into an ACP-wide and/or Global index which will assist policy planners and national strategists to establish priorities for their local sector and facilitate effective investment into e-Agriculture. The tool is intended for use by governments, agriculture organisations, academics, policy makers, development partners, private sector entities, and others who seek to advance the Agriculture through the use of ICTs.