ICT Glossary of Terms


Photo credit: Tom Greenwood



Agricultural Extension Services
Agricultural Crop Cycle
Agricultural Value Added Services (VAS)
Base or Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP)
Commercial Sustainability
Conventional, Intensive or High-Input Farming
Digital Divide
Feature Phone
Gender Equity
ICT, or Information and Communication Technology
ICT4D or Information and Communication Technology for Development
Information Capability
mAgri or Mobile Agriculture
Market Information System (MIS)
Mobile Application (App)
Multimedia Messaging Service (MSS)
Mobile Money or Mobile Payment
Mobile Network Operator (MNO)
Mobile Trading Platform (Marketplace)
Network Effects
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)
Short Message Service (SMS)
Smallholder Farmers
Subscriber Identity Module Card (SIM Card)
Systematic Sustainabilty



Agricultural Extension Services: Agricultural extension and advisory systems disseminate knowledge on improved agricultural technology and management practices widely among farming communities. Initially set up by universities or government institutions, extension services in developing countries are now carried out by a host of diverse players, including public, private and civil society organisations. The training of extension workers doesn't generally extend beyond agronomy, with the result that services tend to be weak on economic, marketing and management disciplines. (top)


Agricultural Crop Cycle: The annual cycle of activities related to the growth and harvest of a crop. These activities include loosening of the soil, seeding, special watering, moving plants when they grow bigger, and harvesting, among others. (top)


Agricultural Value Added Services (VAS): Information or financial services that address concrete farmer needs along the agricultural crop cycle. (top)


Base or Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP): A phrase commonly used to describe the resource poor - those at the base of a wealth or economic pyramid. (top)


Churn: The movement of customers from one service provider to another. "Churn rate" can be defined as the proportion of customers who leave a service provider within a given time period. (top)


Commercial Sustainability: The extent to which mAgri services have the capacity to generate revenue and become commercially sustainable.



Conventional, Intensive or High-Input Farming: These terms are broadly used in the international literature to describe intensive farming, often with high levels of artificial inputs, including fertilisers and pesticides. (top)


Cybercafe: Is a place which provides internet access to the public, usually for a fee.



Digital Divide: Is the inequality between groups, broadly construed, interms of access to, use of or knowledge of ICTs within or between countries. (top)


Feature Phone: Mid-range priced mobile phone with additional functions over and above a basic mobile phone which is only capable of voice calling and text messaging. (top)


Gender Equity: Implies that both women and men have a fair chance of having their needs met and each has equal access to opportunities for realizing their full potential. It involves fairness in representation, participation, and benefits afforded to men and women, and does not refer to men and women receiving equal outcomes. (top)


ICT, or Information and Communication Technology: Technologies that provide access to information through telecommunications with a focus on communication technologies. This includes the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones and other communication mediums. (top)


ICT4D or Information and Communication Technology for Development: The pro-poor application of ICTs in the pursuit of economic and social advancement in developing countries. (top)


Infomediary: An agent able to use IcT-based services to access information on behalf of intended beneficiaries. (top)


Information Capability: The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand. (top)


mAgri or Mobile Agriculture: Initiatives designed to improve the productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers through the use of mobile phones and mobile technology. It is important to note that such mobile communications services tend to form part of larger ICT systems, which are often based on internet technology. (top)


Market Information System (MIS): Are information systems used in gathering, analyzing and disseminating information about prices and other information relevant to farmers, animal rearers, traders, processors and others involved in handling agricultural products. (top)


Mobile Application (App): Software application designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. (top)


Multimedia Messaging Service (MSS): Is a standard way to send messages that include multimedia content to and from mobile phones, usually featured phones. (top)


Mobile Money or Mobile Payment: Also referred to as mobile money transfer, and mobile wallet generally refer to payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. (top)


Mobile Network Operator (MNO): Provider of wireless communications (mobile) services that owns or controls all the elements necessary to sell and deliver services to an end user including radio spectrum allocation, wireless network infrastructure, billing, customer care and provisioning computer systems and marketing. (top)


Mobile Trading Platform (Marketplace): Is a mobile based (SMS, MMS or App) virtual space where producers and buyers come together to discuss and agree prices, quantities, qualities, delivery times, transportation and payment mechanisms for the agricultural production. (top)


Network Effects: An established term for the idea that three for more people doing something often produces more than three people working individually. (top)


PDA: Also known as a palmtop computer, or personal data assistant is a mobile device that functions as a personal information manager. PDAs are largely considered obsolete with the widespread adoption of smartphones. (top)


Public Private Partnerships (PPPs): Is a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. (top)


Short Message Service (SMS): Is a text messaging service component of a mobile phone, usually limited to 160 characters. (top)


Smallholder Farmers: Definitions of smallholder farmers differs between countries and between agro-ecological zones, and are continually subject to debate. FAO point out that in high population densities, individuals may cultivate less than 1 Ha of land, whereas they may cultivate up to 10 Ha or more in semi-arid areas or manage up to 10 head of livestock. However, assets (land, livestock) are only one distinguishing indicator; others include the contribution of farming in relation to all household livelihoods activities. (top)


Smartphone: Is a mobile phone with more advanced computing capability and connectivity than a feature phone. Some functionalities of smartphones may include media players, digital cameras, GPS and touch screens. (top)


Subscriber Identity Module Card (SIM Card): Is an integrated circuit card that securely stores the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) and the related pass code used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile phones. (top)


Systematic Sustainability: The extent to which mAgri initiatives link with, or are supported by existing agricultural services (eg. Ministry of Agriculture extension agents, Meteorological Departments, etc.) (top)


Telecentre: Is a public place where people can access computers, the Internet, and other digital technologies that enable them to gather information, create, learn, and communicate with others while they develop essential digital skills. (top)


Wi-Fi: A popular technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data or connect to the Internet remotely (without the use of wires) using radio waves.



3G: Third generation of mobile telecommunications technology which provides mobile broadband access. (top)




Quick links

Check our tutorials on how to use the platform


Latest Activity

Vincent Trousseau posted a blog post
Allison Taylor is now a member of Women's Economic Empowerment in Agriculture Knowledge Hub
Chellappah Gnanaganeshan is now a member of Women's Economic Empowerment in Agriculture Knowledge Hub
Vincent Trousseau posted a discussion
May 19

© 2017   Oxfam. Created by Helen Moreno.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service