Summary and the discussions are now open and available to all for reading

The E-Discussion on Forward Thinking for ICT use in Asian Agri-Food Chains from 13 August to 8 September had 90 participants from 32 countries across the world who made more than 80 individual contributions in discussing the topic.

The facilitators have now summarized the discussions. The summary and the discussions are now open and available to all for reading. The Summary is now open to all for comments through the CIARD website here.

We invite all to please read the summary and provide their comments and suggestions on the summary and the topic (you need to log in).  

PDF icon E-Discussion_RevisedProceedings.pdf876.7 KB


Ajit Maru (Italy)

Posted on behalf of Dr. Ehud Gelb


Dear Ajit and Colleagues,

Thank you for sharing this initiative’s content and insights - both suggesting how much more

we still have yet to understand, initiate, develop and gear ourselves to adjust to Agri Food chains.

And function “outside our conventions”.

Some discussion considerations inevitably were “top down” oriented. Consequently  some essential complementary 

“bottom-up“ ICT user perspectives were missing. These in this case include real-life agri-food chain endusers such as the farmer, the agricultural 

product consumer, the “secondary” end users such as the geneticist engineering  the extension of the agricultural product’s shelf life all the way

to the e-retail rice supplier (in this case a farmer first encountered personally more than 10 years ago in South Korea).                                                                                                           Last are of course the self contained agricultural product producers defined as being a one link agricultural chain


A bit underrepresented, although mentioned here and there in a round about way, are the agri food chain spillovers. These include direct and

indirect digital divide issues. Their impact can be dominant with their short and long term social, traditional, intergenerational etc influences.  

In this sense “disruptive innovation” should be interlaced in the discussion ag-chain evaluation while detailing it’s desirable and/or sometime 

even devastating effects.


“Agents of change” are a critical success factor in initiating, developing, implementing and feedback of all aspects of agri food chains.  

Understanding and employing them in today’s changing environments is indispensable for ICT adoption in general and agri food

chains in particular.  From first link till chain end  they are immensely influential in conceptualising, implementing spillover adoption

and facilitating the chains effectiveness.These actors deserve further unique and focused attention.


Sorely underrepresented in the discussion are the damage and/or disadvantages the adoption of ICT and agricultural chains 

can impose, instigate and/or enable. Recognising and understanding the potential or actual effects as early as possible is 

imperative. In the long run identifying negative aspects while still revocable is another critical success factor. To be specific

the agri food chain discussion and comments take the inevitability and benefit potentials of Agri Food chains as a given. Such assumptions

dictates an urgent need to discuss accountability within and beyond the relevant agri-food chain realities. 


All the above gravitates the discussion to the dangers of “globalisation trampling” the prevailing,  centuries long

evolved balance, between all factors and aspects of “agriculture” - including “chains”. 


In short still a lot to discuss and think about.



Hoping these add on comments are helpful.


with best regards,




Dr. Ehud Gelb

Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research
9 Hagalil St., Rehovot, Israel
tel: +972 8 9411677, 
mobile: +972 52 4459721
skype: ehud.gelb