Electronic village trails
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CTA. 1998. Electronic village trails. Spore 76. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48173
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore76.pdf
The Internet and rural and agricultural development: an integrated approach. By D Richardson. 1997. 77 pp. Available from the Communication for Development Group SDRE FAO via delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome Italy.
Much has been written and said in recent years about the use of Internet technology in rural development (see Spore 73, and Spore 75's article on CTA's Website). One extreme view dismisses it as irrelevant in a context where electricity and telephone networks are unreliable. Some take the other extreme and worship the fantasy world of post-industrial society, believing that technology can make possible a decentralised world of rural bliss. The truth is probably somewhere in between, as this Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) publication suggests. It is a sober but optimistic review of Internet use in rural development (principally in Africa and Latin America), as a way to share information on needs and local knowledge. It argues that the Internet offers a means for agricultural producers, rural people and development professionals to communicate, leading to dialogue. The author recognises the potent value of the Internet as a decentralised tool for communication and assessment of critical information. Various applications in the field of sustainable rural and agricultural development are described, including economic applications for agricultural producers and small rural enterprise development. 'Best practices', or those that allow the Internet to be more rurally accessible, are examined, from infrastructure to community-based management of information services. At one point the author addresses the publisher (FAO), and says that is important to link up 'electronic village trails' with the world of the global 'information superhighway'. The Internet and rural and agricultural development: an integrated approach. By D Richardson. 1997. 77 pp. Available from the Communication for Development Group SDRE FAO via delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome Italy.