The next steps
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CTA. 2000. The next steps. Spore 88. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46893
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CTA seminar 2000, held in Paris from 29 May to 2 June 2000, had as its theme 'information for agricultural and rural development in ACP countries: new stakeholders, new media and priority themes'.
The CTA seminar 2000, held in Paris from 29 May to 2 June 2000, was the fifth milestone event in the history of CTA to involve all key stakeholders in shaping its major policy directions. Following on from the Montpellier I and II and Wageningen I and II seminars held in 1984, 1995, 1984 and 1996 respectively, the Paris seminar had as its theme 'information for agricultural and rural development in ACP countries: new stakeholders, new media and priority themes'. Globalisation and the rapid growth and adoption of ICTs (information and communication technologies) were seen as the principal factors driving the need for CTA to modify its future role, programmes and priorities. The raft of stakeholders is widening: it includes producers, service-providers and processors, decision-makers and consumers. Collective organisations in the private sector (rural producers associations and NGOs) have partly replaced the role formerly played by governments in the management of rural development and are now 'co-decision makers'. This has implications for their ICM (IC management) skills and resource needs and for their relationships with other stakeholders. Broader policies, stronger grassroots In future, participants felt, the thematic content of CTA s work should include enhanced emphasis on strategic information for policy makers in the context of a broader and more cross-sectoral interpretation of agriculture and rural development. There are new needs for timely information regarding marketing and meteorological data and the mitigation and management of natural disasters. Whilst the concepts of 'mobilising civil society' and 'strengthening national agricultural systems' may require less emphasis, the promotion of mechanisms to support small farmers and grassroots organisations have become a priority. Other existing priorities should be retained. Finally, a new priority area covered ICTs themselves, a topic on which the seminar received significant input from the third consultative expert meeting of CTA s Observatory on ICTs, held the previous week in Wageningen. ICT applications should be enabled and encouraged, in part through greater accessibility, with appropriate combinations of new and conventional media. CTA should encourage ACP organisations to adopt a Web-readiness strategy, and should encourage coordination of ICM policies among international development organisations. Information management programmes need to strengthen the capacity of ACP partners to produce more food and develop more appropriate policies for food security and poverty reduction. More support for partner networks will be needed from CTA, so that they can play a more significant role in global networking. The seminar was attended by more than 70 participants from almost 30 ACP countries and from other resource bodies. The availability of the full report will be announced in a later Spore. The seminar s recommendations will be taken into account in the formulation of CTA s new Strategic Plan (2001 2005).
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