ICT for Development Case Studies Series
II. Agriculture Extension Services
- Sustaining Women Farmers with the Help of ICTs in Ukraine
Given the critical importance of legal, market, and technical information to women farmers, a telecentre project titled ‘Sustaining Women Farmers in Ukraine’ has been started Information Service Centres are set up at various oblasts (regions) that cover the entire country. The Regional Council of Female Farmers in Ukraine manages the whole project and operates these centres. The objective of the project is to apply ICTs to agriculture and farm management to help women farmers overcome their lack of information and networking tools. The project includes a computer-based interactive network of eight telecentres with Internet access and provides training for women farmers in using computers.
- ITC’S e-Choupal and Profitable Rural Transformation: Web-based information and procurement tools for Indian farmers
e-Choupal places computers with Internet access in rural farming villages; the e-Choupals serve as both a social gathering place for exchange of information (choupal means gathering place in Hindi) and an e-commerce hub. What began as an effort to re-engineer the procurement process for soy, tobacco, wheat, shrimp, and other cropping systems in rural India has also created a highly profitable distribution and product design channel for the company—an e-commerce platform that is also a low-cost fulfillment system focused on the needs of rural India. The e-Choupal system has also catalyzed rural transformation that is helping to alleviate rural isolation, create more transparency for farmers, and improve their productivity and incomes.
- Virtual Extension and Research Communication Network, Egypt
The VERCON pilot was aimed at addressing in particular the needs of small-scale Egyptian farmers through the exchange of information between agricultural research and extension, and indirectly the farmers themselves. Now, government researchers and extension workers based in rural villages can communicate with colleagues and experts in the other pilot locations and the capital in seconds rather than in days.
- Digital Green: Participatory Video and Mediated Instruction for Agricultural Extension
Digital Green is a research project that seeks to disseminate targeted agricultural information to small and marginal farmers in India using digital video. The unique components of Digital Green are (1) a participatory process for content production, (2) a locally generated digital video database, (3) human-mediated instruction for dissemination and training, and (4) regimented sequencing to initiate a new community. Unlike some systems that expect information or communication technology alone to deliver useful knowledge to marginal farmers, Digital Green works with existing, people-based extension systems and aims to amplify their effectiveness.
- PestNet – Global
Launched in 1999, PestNet is an email network that helps people worldwide (especially those in the Pacific and South East Asia) obtain advice and information on plant protection. Free to members, the service links farmers and others with plant protection specialists worldwide. Run entirely by volunteers, PestNet seeks to take advantage of modern ICTs to enable more and more grassroots organisations and farmers to access the network.
- Agriculture Information and Communication System Santa Cruz – Bolivia
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 ICTs. Objectives: a) Facilitate the exchange of market prices, supply and demand of agriculture products to empower farmers and increase revenues. b) Assist in the transfer of technologies to and between farmers to increase efficiency and productivity, thereby strengthening food security of small farmers. c) Improve the information and communication system for early alert on natural disasters to inform and prepare the population for natural disasters.
- Computerized Farm Guide: Using ICT for Better Dissemination of Agriculture Extension Information
CFG Application will be a computerized Extension guide for farmers, which will enhance the existing methodology of dissemination of Extension information to mostly illiterate and small farm holders. CFG Application will use audio, video, and images to educate the farmers by providing information about pests, pesticides, preventive measures etc. thus enabling the farmers to optimize their investment and produce better crops.
- Computerizing Agricultural Cooperatives: A Practical Guide
Currently, those agricultural cooperatives considering computerization have no reference book to turn to for guidance. This manual is intended to help fill that gap and ensure that their first attempt to computerize will be a successful one. It is based on a review of computerization experiences in Asia, Africa and South America. This manual is written for developing country cooperatives that are just starting to consider whether or not or how to computerize. Its intended target audience includes managers, trainers and policy makers with little experience in working with computers.
If you know of other interesting case studies or projects in this area, please leave a short description and link as a comment. Thanks.