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Agriculture Information and Communication System Santa Cruz - Bolivia

Information system to link the departmental government with 15 provinces and farmers on marketing, production technologies and alerts on natural disasters.


Livelihood opportunities

Departmental Goverment Santa Cruz


leveraging project

Departmental and provincial government
Farmers and farmer associations

Database, Internet, Satelite, Windows

This leveraging programme focuses on providing price information and technical agriculture information for small-scale producers in the department of Santa Cruz.

The Department of Santa Cruz is the main producer of agricultural products in Bolivia. Despite the fast growth of production, almost half of the rural population lives on half a dollar per day.

To respond to this, strengthening of the agricultural sector is a key objective of the Departmental Government. Information collection, diffusion and digital exchange of agriculture information between the government and private sector and small and medium farmers are necessary tools to achieve this. This exchanges needs to be supported by a combination of Information and Communicatoin Technologies (ICTs). 

At this moment, there are no established information and communication channels the government can use to reach the farmer community. This programme will respond to this using a combination of Internet, voice radio and rural radio.

Read more about IICD's Bolivia Country Programme.

This leveraging programme started in January 2008. The departmental government has integrated the program in its long-term program planning for the period 2010-2012. IICD is providing strategic and technical advice and assists in identifying interest partners for the program in Bolivia. Key outputs hitherto are:

  • Optimization of computer and Internet facilities in 4 provinces and acquisition of additional computers for 11 remainign provinces 
  • Intermediary and advanced training of the project staff;
  • Daily collection of price information on key staple markets of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Camiri and Trinidad. Price information on markets in Sucre will be added on later in 2010;
  • Daily update of an online price information database on key agriculture products (www.sicsantacruz.com);
  • Diffusion of price information Web with hitherto 2,000 unique visitors; 

  • Difusion via a daily radio programme (prices in the morning and agriculture informationin the afternoon) at national level with a current audience of 200,000 listeners;

  • Training of 60 staff of local government and 200 producers in the use of information and the database in 5 provinces, with training planned for the other 11 provinces in 2010

  • Facilitate the exchange of market prices, supply and demand of agricultural products to empower farmers in their negotiation skills with intermediaries

  • Assist in the transfer of technologies to and between farmers to increase efficiency and productivity, thereby strengthening food security of small farmers

  • Improve the information and communication system for early alert on natural disasters to inform and prepare the population for natural disasters

  • Increase annual revenues of participating small-scale farmers through access to information services with at least 10%

Impact is not yet measured, and will start in Q2 2010

    • It is very effective to organise a Roundtable workshop with government representatives from national to local levels at the start of a leveraging programme because this creates ownership and awareness. Especially local level governments are often not involved or consulted during the formulation process

    • Presenting and building on local project experiences allows the government to better understand the practical usefulness of ICT

    • IICD has an important role to play in building partnerships between the government (allocating funding and building long-term human and technical infrastructure) and NGOs (on-the-ground experience)

    • Support of advisors with experience in local administrative and political processes is essential to get political and financial support from the government

    • Leveraging processes take a long time to start due to complex and time consuming political and administrative processes, including signing of agreements, allocation of funding into annual budget lines and regulations on adquisition of equipment

    • Long-term support of key decision makers is essential to the success of a leveraging program, which in this case has resulted in the allocation of funds and 8 staff members fully assigned by the local government to the program.

The Departmental Government of Santa Cruz represents the largest department in Bolivia contributing to countries' agriculture and oil production. The project is managed and implemented by 8 technical staff of the Secretariat of Rural Development. The program will be further implemented by staff of provincial authorities to reach out directly to producer associations at provincial level. The programme is  supported by technical advisors of IICD.

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Project fact file
Country: Bolivia
Sector: Livelihood opportunities
Type: leveraging project
Status: implementation
Start date: January 2009
Project owner: Departmental Goverment Santa Cruz
Beneficiaries: Departmental and provincial government, Farmers and farmer associations, Traders
ICT tools: Database, Internet, Satelite, Windows
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