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Title Integrating ICTs in Agricultural Development- A Case for ATMA project. Authors Manish Kumar Chitra Pathak S.P.Gupta. Introduction. Even though agriculture only contributes over 25% to our GDP, it is a source of livelihood for more than 60 per cent of the population.

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Title Integrating ICTs in Agricultural Development- A Case for ATMA project

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Title integrating icts in agricultural development a case for atma project l.jpg

Title Integrating ICTs in Agricultural Development- A Case for ATMA project

Authors

Manish Kumar

Chitra Pathak

S.P.Gupta


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Introduction

  • Even though agriculture only contributes over 25% to our GDP, it is a source of livelihood for more than 60 per cent of the population.

  • Farming has become knowledge intensive, the need for information is very high and the quantity of information generated or exchanged is also huge

  • Hence the need to revamp conventional agricultural extension system

  • Here ICTs can play an important role


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  • When used as a broad tool for providing local farming communities with scientific knowledge, ICT heralds the formation of knowledge societies in the rural areas

  • As a result in last 6-7 years many ICTs projects and programmes have been launched in India.

  • Some of the much talked about ICT projects are Gyandoot in Madhya Pradesh, Bhoomi in Karnataka, e-Sewa in Andhra Pradhesh, SARI in Tamil Nadu, Nabanna in West Bengal, and WARNA in Maharashtra.


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  • This paper has made an effort to discuss the role of ICTs in agriculture within the context of a research study of the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) project in the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar.

  • ATMA Under the ITD component of NATP


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  • The ITD component aims to test new innovations in technology dissemination and also to give a new direction to the Indian extension system with pilot testing of the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) model in 28 pilot districts of India.

  • an exploratory study with an objective to generate empirical information for improving the current efforts in the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar


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Summary of Findings

  • Lack of relevant information

  • Officials in the role of ‘trouble shooters’

  • External agents defined problems and information gathering process, and so controlled analysis

  • Positive perception of farmers about their groups

  • Confidence and capability to scale up

  • Official focus on achieving the target of numbers


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  • Lack of interaction with NGOs

  • Negative perception of Officials about NGOs

  • Differential capability of stakeholders

  • Lack of interaction among village, block and district level functionaries

  • Power vested at the Top


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What ICTs can do?

  • Provide access to information regarding cultivation, post-harvest processing, market condition, etc.

  • Establish direct relationship with potential buyers, thus increasing producers bargaining power

  • Facilitate gathering and sharing of agricultural information

  • Multi-media community centre in the village can extend access to information about health, education, business, etc., besides providing a platform for communication within the village and with the rest of the world as well

    ·       


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  • Support bottom-up, horizontal, top-down and diagonal articulation of needs and facilitate integration of local and global knowledge

  • Facilitate building consensus among various actors through multi-directional exchange of information on each other's actions or initiatives

  • Create, support and strengthen interactive and collaborative networks, which ensure information flow to and from farming community

  • Facilitate dialogue among concerned actors to resolve problems at hand

  • Improve work efficiency by overcoming physical and time barrier


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Innovations in ICT Applications

  • e-Learning

    -For instance in Thailand APRTC (www.aprtc.org)

  • VASAT Initiative

    - A new extension communication approach that will help enhance food and livelihood security of the vulnerable farm families that inhabit the SAT region of the developing world


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Research in ICT and Agri. Development-Challenges

  • Projects designed to meet information needs in their target population, according to their individual mandates and the agenda they establish.

  • Driven by institutions rather than community

  • Increase awareness among agriculture officials about the usefulness of ICTs

  • Need for full-fledged strategy to harness ICT’s potential for assisting overall agricultural development.


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  • User equity from a gender perspective very low

  • Efforts should made to develop among the farmers both a satisfactory level of faith in the intentions of the ICT staff and a firm commitment to the goals of the proposed project

  • Participatory and rapid rural appraisals should be carried out to ascertain what information the farmers need

  • More qualitative studies should be conducted to get in-depth understandings of the project impacts

  • Ethnographic approach may be a good alternative


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CONCLUSIONS

  • ICTs a potential alternative way to meet farmers’ needs in a cost effective manner if integrated in the agricultural development process

  • Participatory extension approaches should be incorporated in projects

  • Using all kind of available technologies

  • Need to develop and implement alternative and effective extension approaches which meets the changing needs of its clientele.


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Thank You.


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