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Global agriculture leaders to speak at ICT4D Conference, Hyderabad

Focusing on technological disruptions in agriculture, ICT4D Conference will take place on May, 15-18, 2017 at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre

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The speakers for the Agriculture & Environment track at the ninth annual ICT4D Conference have been announced and include sector leaders and technical experts from India and around the world.

The Conference will be held in Hyderabad, India on May 15-18 2017. It is focused on the ways in which technology solutions are allowing to harness the power of data in accelerating the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Over 1,000 individuals are expected to attend the conference—technical experts from a myriad of disciplines, representatives of governmental, non-governmental and private sector organisations, individuals from countries across the globe.

The use of technology in agriculture is fast expanding beyond pilot phase programmes to embed ICT solutions in responses to global agriculture and environment challenges. The ICT4D Conference provides a platform for sector experts, programme managers, technical advisors and executives to come together to discuss best practices, explore possible applications of frontier technology and evaluate the impact they create in the journey to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, promote sustainable agriculture and protect the planet from degradation for present and future generations.

Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT); Dr Usha Zehr, Chief Technology Officer of Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco); Dr Ranjan Patnaik, Director, DuPont Knowledge Center; Frederic Pivetta, Technology Director, SA & ASEAN, DuPont and Dalberg Data Insights, Co-Founder & Managing Partner will speak on the plenary panel ‘Hype and Reality: Big Data’. The session, on Tuesday 16 May at 9am, will explore how innovations in data analytics and visualisation are helping understand big data and how its insights can be better harnessed for impact, providing examples of its usage across digital agriculture and environment programming.

Prashant Gupta, Principal Program Manager Lead, Digital India, Microsoft, will showcase the Sowing App and Personalised Village Advisory Dashboard, jointly developed with ICRISAT and using Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence Suite, to provide powerful cloud-based predictive analytics to empower farmers with crucial information and insights to help reduce crop failures and increase yield, in turn, reducing stress and generating better income.

Dr Sheetal Sharma, Scientist -Soil Science and Nutrient Management Specialist, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), will present on the IRRI’s partnership with national and international organisations to develop a web- and mobile-based application/software – the Crop Manager for Rice-based Systems – which uses recent advances in ICT and aims to increase farmers’ net income and sustain the productivity for rice-based cropping systems.

Other sessions will explore the role of social media in data-gathering, analysis and information sharing; how iFormBuilder can improve programme efficiency; and how mobile technology can help farmers to certify their produce around the world.  
 
The annual ICT4D Conference event, founded by Catholic Relief Services, is now organised by a consortium of NGOs and Private Sector Companies. This year’s organising team includes: Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, World Vision, NetHope, Anudip Foundation, Dalberg, Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri), iMerit Technology Services, and ICRISAT. The team is supported by Microsoft, Google Earth Outreach, CGIAR, Cyient, Digital Globe, DuPont, Oxfam, aWhere/GDA, and RTI International.

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