The Regional Center on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in the Near East (CARDNE) held a regional workshop on “Role of Information and Communications Technology in Rural Development (Reality and Solutions)” during the period from 2016/10 / 27-25 in Amman-Jordan. The main objective of the workshop is to determine the ways and means in which telecommunication services and information and communication technologies in rural areas address the challenges faced by small farmers, and to explore the role that can be played by specific stakeholders through various initiatives in this area, especially projects that support women and young people in rural areas with special attention to display projects and programs that have achieved success in this area.
The workshop also aims to improve the use of information and communication services to rural telecommunications in North Africa and the Near East technology with the objective of supporting family farming for smallholders and rural populations.
Experts and specialists in the field of rural development and information technology, and representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture of the Member States of the center participated in the workshop (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Palestine, Iraq, Morocco, and Tunisia).
A discussion paper was presented on rural development and the means of modern communication concepts and its role in rural development. Participants presented working papers of the participating countries and also formed working groups to discuss the papers presented and come up with practical recommendations to the concerned authorities.
The main recommendations were:
- Conduct preliminary studies to identify the beneficiaries of the data and check information type and data sources.
- Raise the level of awareness among beneficiaries about how to access information and what is appropriate and not appropriate to local conditions.
- Explore funding resources for development activities in the rural areas.
- Assigning a cooperative and/or platforms from the rural population to support them to obtain the means and tools to deliver the knowledge programs.
- Establish mobile extension units for remote areas.
- Establish database systems for rural residents to be able plan the means of knowledge transfer.
- Encourage the exchange of experiences between the countries, especially countries with common comparative advantage (Egypt and Morocco), through their skills in the technical field (the study of web sites and how to build it and the continuity of its work).
- Target young people and rural women actors for specialized training programs in the training centers in villages.
- Analyze data/systems in order to determine the appropriate training materials for the target audience.
- Update the quality of the communication means and the message to suit the target group.