Geographic Information and Communication Technologies for Supporting Smallholder Agriculture and Climate Resilience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Eloise Biggs
  • John Duncan
  • Nathan Wales
  • Bryan Boruff
  • Eleanor Bruce

Abstract

Multiple factors constrain smallholder agriculture and farmers’ adaptive capacities under changing climates, including access to information to support context appropriate farm decision-making. Current approaches to geographic information dissemination to smallholders, such as the rural extension model, are limited, yet advancements in internet and communication technologies (ICTs) could help augment these processes through the provision of agricultural geographic information (AGI) directly to farmers. We analysed recent ICT initiatives for communicating climate and agriculture-related information to smallholders for improved livelihoods and climate change adaptation. Through the critical analysis of initiatives, we identified opportunities for the success of future AGI developments. We systematically examined 27 AGI initiatives reported in academic and grey literature (e.g., organisational databases). Important factors identified for the success of initiatives include affordability, language(s), community partnerships, user collaboration, high quality and locally-relevant information through low-tech platforms, organisational trust, clear business models, and adaptability. We propose initiatives should be better-targeted to deliver AGI to regions in most need of climate adaptation assistance, including SE Asia, the Pacific, and the Caribbean. Further assessment of the most effective technological approaches is needed. Initiatives should be independently assessed for evaluation of their uptake and success, and local communities should be better-incorporated into the development of AGI initiatives.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number97
JournalUrban Climate
Volume6
Issue number4
Early online date10 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018