Guyana hosts int’l experts for Caribbean ICT road show

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E-Agriculture is emerging as the chief area of focus in strategic and economic planning in countries across the Caribbean.

Pundits have concluded that there are numerous ways in which small and large-scale farmers could use ICT’s to increase produce yield and make the processes between planting and reaping more efficient.

This subject is one main thrust of the 2018 Caribbean ICT Road Show set to take place in Guyana from July 9 to 14.

The Road Show is an annual event organized and executed by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) in all of its member countries.

This year it is Guyana’s turn to benefit from the numerous ICT experts and Consultants attached to the CTU’s public and private sector member organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Ministry of Public Telecommunications hosted a press briefing on Wednesday, July 5 to acquaint the general public with the elements and purposes of the Road Show.

According to Kevin Roopchand, Business Analyst in the Ministry of Public Telecommunication’s Innovation and Industry Department, three days of the week-long event will be devoted to policymakers in the field of Agriculture, along with planners and farmers.

In addition, he said, the visiting specialists along with Guyanese ICT specialists will conduct several demonstrations at the Nand Persaud Contact Center in the Corentyne on Saturday, July 14.  On this day, the team of both local/foreign experts will interact closely with rice and cash crop farmers, and growers of other types of food and feed.

Mr. Roopchand went on to say that going forward, the use of technology in Agriculture will involve the Drone Operators and other Associations; and it is aimed at encouraging young people to invent gadgets and write computer programmes for machines with Artificial Intelligence, e.g. robotic gadgets capable of watering crops in the field.

The team also intends to introduce to farmers the refined Agricultural Commodities Trade Exchange App which was designed and then created by a crack team of young ICT technologists named Innovative Systems (Innosys).  They created the app during the MOPT’s Code Sprint competition in July 2017, and have spent the last year refining the product.

The Agriculture Trade Exchange is intended to bring producers, sellers and buyers of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats and other Guyanese fresh and agro-processed foods like cassava bread and cassareep into a single online marketplace.

ICT4PWD

The other major area in focus at this year’s Caribbean Road show is ICT products for people living with disabilities.  At least two days will be devoted to making the public more aware of the wide gamut of technological possibilities for adding value to the quality of life and productive capabilities of people living with disabilities (PWD).

According to Ministerial Advisor, Lance Hinds, most brands of smartphones on the market today are already equipped with such facilities, and he stated that in Guyana the field remains open for newer inventions by the growing numbers of ICT software developers, graphic designers, researchers and others who would link the front end (use of the programme) with the back end (administration of the programme).

Mr. Hinds emphasized the fact that the Roadshow is not only for people who are interested or involved in information communication technologies.

The event carries an open invitation to farmers, administrators, people working with financial systems, people living with disabilities, parents, guardians and the general public who must be well informed about online safety and ways to protect themselves and their children from cyber-crime.

The workshops and exhibitions at the ACCC will be capped on Friday, July 13 with a Youth Fair showcasing the products that secondary school students and other young inventors have created, as well as the new financial management systems to be implemented by the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Guyana.

Minister Cathy Hughes will lead a special Town Hall-styled meeting after lunch to engage one-on-one with the youths.  They are required to pre-register on the MOPT’s website (www.mopt.gov.gy ) and Facebook page before Friday, July 13. (Ministry of Public Telecommunications)

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