This report features the potential and challenges of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) tool usage by the agricultural and fisheries sectors in Fiji. The study was conducted by a team led by Dr Bibhya Sharma of The University of the South Pacific. The aim of the report is not only to support creating awareness in the Pacific but also to leverage on current and new ICT tools, such as mobile apps, 3D printers and block chain technology for best results and usage by farmers and consumers.
Issues such as harvests, irregular weather patterns, failing yields, reduction in agricultural land areas, poor and late deliveries, overfishing and by-product wastage are causing a decline in the agricultural and fisheries sectors. This makes a serious case for changes and innovations. Therefore strengthening ICT usage in agriculture and fisheries seems all so important.
The ICT applications currently in place can help in overcoming the challenges in terms of monitoring activities, assessing weather patterns, improving market accessibility, mobility and providing databases. However, farmers and fishers are not aware of the impact most of these tools could have in their sectors or are not even aware of the existence of such tools.
The report highlights ICT usage in Fiji, provides an overview of key actors including service providers and an analysis on ICT tools (apps, platforms and information systems) for the agricultural and fisheries sectors.
By embracing technology, we are bridging the information gap that many farmers, including women and youth in Fiji’s rural areas and outer islands face in accessing market prices, expert advice, and real-time data support. – Jiu Daunivalu, Chief Executive Officer, Fiji Crop and Livestock Council
The report also includes recommendations in increasing awareness on the benefits and upscaling present ICT tools to bridge the gaps that are visible in current times. Furthermore, new initiatives which can further boost the agricultural sector in Fiji, as well as the Pacific region, are highlighted.
Some of the existing tools are:
- TraSeable solutions – A block chain-ready software as a service (SaaS) platform for seafood traceability
- MyKana – An app that aims to promote healthy eating habits, allow users to record what they eat with an ultimate goal to tackle the rising number of non-communicable diseases.
- Mobile Apps Platform (MOAP) – A multi-faceted platform that provides a useful and targeted way to reach farmers and professionals