ICTs for Agricultural Extension: Global Experiments, Innovations and Experiences

ICTs for Agricultural Extension:

Global Experiments, Innovations and Experiences –Edited by R. Saravanan

4

Preface

Agriculture extension continues to be a key facilitator to achieve food security and also to reduce poverty of the majority of the rural population in most of the developing countries. Research evidences show that the rural livelihoods are greatly enhanced by access to the information on improved agricultural practices, market, weather etc. Further, land and water resources are almost reaching its limits and hence, knowledge resource plays a crucial role to achieve food security. Hence, agricultural extension, as an enabler of knowledge resource is getting renewed attention across the globe. Most national governments and agricultural stakeholders are trying to revitalise the extension systems. Extension reforms are underway and integration of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are rapidly transforming the agricultural extension. The ICT enabled extension systems are acting as a key agent for changing agrarian situation and farmers’ lives by improving access to information and sharing knowledge. ICT based agricultural extension brings incredible opportunities and has the potential of enabling the empowerment of farming communities. Extension practitioners are excited to experiment innovative ICT initiatives. Experiences on “ICTs for Agricultural Extension” initiatives are showing encouraging results and also complementing conventional extension communication methods. At the same time, it is also a challenge to place rural ICT infrastructure, developing appropriate content, ensuring sustainability and scaling-up.

This book is an attempt to document the National Policy on ICTs in agricultural extension, ICT infrastructure scenario and related issues, case studies on innovative ICTs for agricultural extension initiatives (Village knowledge centres, information kiosks, mobile ICT units, web portals, digital data base and networks, rural tele-centres, farmer call centres, mobile telephony, video-conference, offline multimedia CDs, decision support systems, expert systems, innovative community radio and television programmes, open distance learning etc.,), lessons and way forward in the countries such as Bangladesh, Caribbean Nations (Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St.kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago), Greece, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi), Sudan, Trinidad & Tobago and Zimbabwe.

I sincerely believe that the agricultural extension students, academicians, scientists, practitioners, administrators and policy makers will find this compilation of the “ICTs for Agricultural Extension: Global Experiments, Innovations and Experiences” from twenty eight countries relevant to providing a framework for the design and implementation of sustainable ICT-enabled extension services for the agricultural development. -R. Saravanan

Country Chapters Contributors
Bangladesh Ms. Rubaiya Ahmad
Caribbean Nations Dr. Wayne G. Ganpat
Mrs. Claudette de Freitas
Greece Dr. Anastasios Michailidis
India Dr. R. Saravanan
Iran Dr. H. Shabanali Fami
Mrs. Malihe Falaki
Mr. Javad Ghasemi
Ireland Dr. Pádraig Wims
Israel
Dr. E. Gelb
Dr. B. Gal
Mr. D. Wolfson
Japan Mr. Masami Yamada
Jordan Dr. Esmat AlKaradsheh
Er. Asmahan Farred Hattar
Mr. Ashraf Saber Alhawamdeh
Dr. Samia Nadim Akroush
Nigeria Dr. Olufemi Martins Adesope
Dr. Moses Okwusi
Dr. Ike Nwachukwu
Rwanda Dr. Charles Karemangingo
Mr. Edward Mutandwa
Mr. Nathan Taremwa Kanuma
Mr. Frank Mugisha
Sri Lanka Dr. Rohan Wijekoon
Mr. M.F.M. Rizwan
Sub Saharan Africa Dr. Kristin Elizabeth Davis
Mr. Benjamin K Addom
Sudan Ms. Rafaa Ashamallah Ghobrial
Trinidad & Tobago Dr. Edwin Joseph
Zimbabwe Mr. Christopher Tafara Gadzirayi
Mr. Eliada Gudza
Mr. Godfrey SibandaTitle
Mr. Justin Mupinda

General Outline of the Chapter Contents

1. Overview of National agriculture scenario, National extension systems-scope and importance
2. Need of ICTs in agricultural extension/ Rationale for experimenting/proposing e-agriculture/ cyber extension
3. Brief account of IT scenario in the country during last two decades and IT penetration in rural areas
4. National policy on IT in agricultural extension
5. Case studies / review of information on “Best (ICT) practices” of e-agriculture/ cyber extension (or) “Innovations” in ICTs for agricultural extension

• Information village projects/ Village knowledge centre/ Information Kiosk/ Touch screen kiosk/ Mobile telephony etc.
• Mobile ICT units for agricultural extension
• Web portals/ data base/ digital networks for agricultural extension services provision
• Web based discussion forums/ video-conference/ net meeting etc.
• Offline multimedia CDs, Decision support systems/ expert systems etc.
• Innovative Radio – community radio/ TV programmes/ initiatives
• Online farm magazines/ news papers/ farm advisory publications etc.
• Open Distance Learning (ODL) projects for agricultural technology transfer
• Any other ICT initiatives and innovations

6. Issues related to ICTs application for agricultural extension
(Infrastructure, connectivity, content, capacity building, community participation, management, co-ordination, policy support, scaling-up and sustainability etc.)
7. Government, private, NGO, individual research project initiatives, public-private partnership models, business/ entrepreneurship models
8. Impact of ICTs in agricultural technology/ information dissemination, technology adoption, agricultural production
9. Lessons/experiences
10. The way forward/ policy implications/conclusions & recommendations

Communication address of the editor of the book

Dr. R. Saravanan, Associate Professor (Communication) and In-charge, School of Social Sciences, College of Post Graduate Studies, Central Agricultural University, Barapani – 793 103, Meghalaya, India. e-Mail ID: saravananraj@hotmail.com; saravanacau@gmail.com
URL: www.saravananraj.net

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Chapter Wise Contents

Chapter 1

BANGLADESH  

Rubaiya Ahmad

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. AGRICULTURAL TRENDS IN BANGLADESH

2.1.  Overall Growth

2.2.  Agricultural Diversification

2.3. Involvement of Private Sector

2.4. Emergence of Agri-business

  1. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN BANGLADESH

3.1.  Evolution of Extension in Bangladesh

3.2.  Major Activities

3.3.  Challenges

  1. ICT IN ADDRESSING EXTENSION CHALLENGES

4.1.  Greater Coverage of Extension

4.2.  Capacity Building of Extension Workers

4.3.  Capacity Building of Farmers

4.4. Coordination among Different Players

4.5. Promotion of Agribusiness

4.6.  Farmers’ Participation in Research and Policy Decisions

  1. e-KRISHI VISION 2021
  2. NOTABLE EXTENSION PROJECTS BY PUBLIC AGENCIES

6.1.  Major Extension Reform Projects

6.1.1.    Agricultural Support Services Project (ASSP, 1992-1999)

6.1.2.    Agricultural Services Innovation and Reform Project (ASIRP, 1999-2002)

6.1.3.    Agricultural Diversification and Intensification Project (ADIP, 1997-2004)

6.1.4.    Thana Cereal Technology Transfer and Identification Project (TCTTI, 1995-2000)

6.1.5.    Integrated Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Management Project (SFFP, 1993-2000)

6.2.  e-Extension Initiatives

6.2.1.    Agriculture Information and Communication Centre (AICC)

                                    6.2.1.1. Access to Information

                                    6.2.1.2. Coordination

                                    6.2.1.3. Input Dealership

6.2.2.    Union Information Centres (UIC)

6.2.3.    Fisheries Information Center (FIC)

6.2.4.    One-Stop-Shop Telecenters

6.3.  Other e-Initiatives

6.3.1.    SRDI SOLARIS Data Interpreter

6.3.2.    DAM Website

6.3.3.    BRRI Knowledge Bank

6.3.4.    BARI Computer Training Center

6.3.5.    Bangladesh Country Almanac (BCA)

6.3.6.    DAE Website

  1. ICT IN NAEP AND NAP

7.1. Human Resource Development

7.2. Research and Development

7.3. Need Based and Inclusive Extension System

7.4. Agribusiness

7.5.  Market Access

  1. CONCLUSION

 

REFERENCES

AUTHOR INFORMATION

 

 

Chapter 2

                                                    CARIBBEAN NATIONS

Wayne G. Ganpat and Claudette de Freitas

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. COUNTRY AND AGRICULTURE SECTOR OVERVIEW
  3. MAIN EXTENSION PROVIDERS AND SYSTEMS

3.1. Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) Extension Services

3.1.1. Structure

3.1.2. Scope of Extension Programs

3.1.3. Role of the Extension Officer

3.1.4. Staff Qualifications

3.2. Commodity Extension Services

3.3. Extension by Farmers’ Associations

3.3.1. National Associations

3.3.2. Commodity –Based Associations

3.4. Other Extension Providers

3.4.1. Research and Development (R&D) Institutions

3.4.2. Input Suppliers

3.4.3. NGOs

         3.5. Fisheries and Forestry Extension

  1. CHALLENGES OF EXTENSION SERVICES IN THE CARIBBEAN
  2. NEED FOR ICTs IN CARIBBEAN AGRICULTURE
  3. USE OF ICTs WITHIN AGRICULTURE AND EXTENSION

6.1. Country Status

  1. TRACKING INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY NEEDS AND CAPACITIES

7.1. Farmers’ ICT Needs, Capacities and Use

7.2. Regional Responses to Support ICT Use- Training and Use                  of Networks

  1. CHALLENGES FOR ICT USE IN EXTENSION SERVICES
  2. THE WAY FORWARD FOR INCREASED ICT USE IN CARIBBEAN EXTENSION

9.1. Reconfigure Extension

9.2. Develop Policy and Institutional Frameworks

9.3. Improve Access and Build Capacity

9.4. Promote a New Culture

9.5. Build on Present Strengths

9.6. Encourage Youth

9.7. Develop and Use Networks and e-forums

  1. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

 

References

Authors Information

 

Chapter 3

GREECE

Anastasios Michailidis

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. GREEK AGRICULTURE
  3. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN GREECE
  4. NEED OF ICTs IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
  5. GREEK ICTs ENVIRONMENT
  6. ADOPTION OF ICTs IN AGRICULTURE
  7. CASE STUDY FROM NORTH-WEST GREECE
  8. CONCLUSIONS

 

REFERENCES

AUTHOR INFORMATION

 

Chapter 4

                                                                 INDIA

  1. Saravanan
  2. INTRODUCTION

1.1. National Agriculture Scenario

1.2. Agriculture Sector Challenges

  1. NEED FOR ICT IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
  2. ICT INFRASTRUCTURE SCENARIO
  3. NATIONAL POLICY ON ICT IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
  4. REVIEW ON BEST PRACTICES OF ICTs FOR AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION

5.1. aAQUA – almost All QUestions Answered

5.2. Digital Green – Participatory Video for Agricultural Extension

5.3. e-Arik (e-Agriculture)

5.4. e-Sagu (e-Cultivation)

5.5. KISSAN – Karshaka Information Systems Services and Networking

5.6. Lifelines India- Soochna Se Samadhan (Solutions Through Information)

5.7. VSAT – Virtual Academy for the Semi-Arid Tropics

5.8. Touch Screen Kiosk

5.9. e-Extension (e-Soil Health Card Programme)

  1. VILLAGE KNOWLEDGE CENTRES

6.1. MSSRF-Village Knowledge Centres

6.2. ISRO-Village Resource Centres

6.3. Community Information Centres (CICs)

6.4. Mission 2007

6.5. Common Service Centres (CSCs)

  1. WARANA WIRED VILLAGE PROJECT
  2. WEB PORTALS

8.1. AGRISNET

8.2. DACNET

8.3. InDG

8.4. DEAL

8.5. iKissan

8.6. e-Krishi

8.7. ASHA

8.8. IFFCO Agri-portal

8.9. Agriwatch portal

8.10. iShakti

  1. ICTs FOR MARKET INFORMATION AND AGRI-BUSINESS

9.1. AGMARKNET

9.2. e-Krishi Vipanan

9.3. ITC-e-Choupal

9.4. EID Parry – Indiaagriline

  1. TELEPHONE/ MOBILE TELEPHONY

10.1. Farmer Call Centre (Kissan Call Centre)

10.2. SMS Broadcast Service by KVK

  1. ICT INITIATIVES OF CHAMBAL FERTILIZERS AND CHEMICALS LIMITED

11.1. Farmers’ Website – uttamkrishi.com

11.2. Farmers’ Helpline – Hello Uttam

11.3. Mailers and AVs

  1. ICT INITIATIVES OF NGOs

12.1. DHAN Foundation

12.2. ISAP

12.2.1. ISAP- Community Technology Learning Centres (CTLCS)

12.2.2. ISAP- Query Redress Services (QRS)

12.2.3. ISAP- Community Radio Stations (CRS)

  1. EXPERT SYSTEMS, DECISION SUPPORT SYATEMS, CDs AND OTHERS

13.1. Agricultural Decision Support System by Agro-Climate Planning and Information Bank (APIB)

13.2. Expert System on Pests and Diseases of Major Crops in Andhra Pradesh

13.3. Pesticide Advisor (Verson 2005.1.0): An Expert System for Judicious use of Pesticides for Management of Pests

13.4. Vasundhara: Software for Soil and Water Test Based Nutrient Recommendations by KVK Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

13.5. TCS – mKrishi

13.6. Digital Data Banks – Agricultural Planning and Information Bank (APIB)

  1. VALUE ADDED SERVICES

14.1. IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd.

14.2. BSNL- Mandi on Mobile Service

14.3. Nokia Life Tools

14.4. Fisher Friend Project

14.5. Rubber Board, India- Market Price by SMS

14.6. SMS Service to Farmers by the Department of Agriculture, Haryana State

  1. ICT INITIATIVES OF THE NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION PROJECT (NAIP), INDIAN COUNCIL OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH (ICAR)
  2. IMPACT OF ICT
  3. LESSONS FROM ICTs FOR AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION PROJECTS
  4. THE WAY FORWARD

 

REFERENCES

AUTHOR INFORMATION

 

Chapter 5

IRAN

  1. Shabanali Fami, Malihe Falaki and Javad Ghasemi

 

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. AGRICULTURE IN IRAN
  3. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN IRAN
  4. APPLYING ICTs IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN IRAN
  5. AREAS OF APPLYING ICTs IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN IRAN
  6. CHALLENGES AND DRIVING FORCES OF APPLYING ICTs IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN IRAN

6.1.  Infrastructural Obstacles

6.2.  Financial and Equipment Limitations

6.3.  Personal and Psychological Obstacles and Lack of Skills for Information Management

6.4.  Lack of Organizational Culture

  1. INTERNET USE IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN IRAN
  2. RURAL ICT STRATEGIC PLAN IN IRAN
  3. CASE STUDIES
  4. CONCLUSION

 

REFERENCES

AUTHORS INFORMATION

 

Chapter 6

                                                            IRELAND

Pádraig Wims

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. AGRICULTURE IN THE IRISH ECONOMY
  3. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN IRELAND
  4. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY POLICY IN IRELAND
  5. ADOPTION OF ICTs BY THE GENERAL POPULATION AND BY THE FARMING COMMUNITY IN IRELAND

5.1.  Level of Computer Availability

5.2.  Level of Access to the Internet

5.3.  Level of Broadband Availability

5.4.  Mobile Phone Penetration

5.5.  Market Segmentation Analysis

  1. ADOPTION OF ICTs BY THE FARMING COMMUNITY IN IRELAND
  2. DEPLOYMENT OF ICT BY IRISH MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE

 

  1.    DEPLOYMENT OF ONLINE SERVICES BY TEAGASC, THE PUBLIC EXTENSION SERVICE
  2. DEPLOYMENT OF MOBILE TELEPHONY IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
  3. DEPLOYMENT OF EXTRANET BY AGRIBUSINESS
  4. ADOPTION AND USE OF PC AND INTERNET AMONG RESPONDENTS
  5. AGRILINK USAGE AMONG RESPONDENTS
  6. FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCED PC AND INTERNET ADOPTION AND NON-USE OF AGRILINK
  7. COMPUTER TRAINING
  8. CONCLUSION TO AGRILINK STUDY
  9. CONCLUSIONS
  10. CONSTRAINTS THAT IMPEDE FARMERS FROM USING ICT
  11. RECOMMENDATIONS

 

REFERENCES

AUTHOR INFORMATION

 

Chapter 7

                                                               ISRAEL

  1. Gelb, B. Gal   and D. Wolfson
  2. Introduction
  3. BACKGROUND – ISRAEL
  4. ISRAEL’S EXTENSION SERVICE (IES)
  5. THE ISRAELI EXTENSION SERVICE AND ICT
  6. CASE STUDIES AND ISSUES

5.1. Adoption of e-Mail

5.2. Development and Adoption of the IES Internet site

5.3. From a Land-line phone in the office to an Office in the hand-held mobile

5.4. Discussion and opinions: Ongoing challenges facing the adoption of ICT for Extension

  1. SUMMARY

REFERENCES

APPENDICES:

  • A: IAALD/AFITA/WCCA (2008) ICT Adoption Recommendations Compatible with Israeli IES Experience;
  • B1. The Organizational Framework of the Israeli Extension Service;
  • B2. Israel’s Agricultural Information Environment;
  • B3. A Regional Agricultural Production Information Infrastructure;
  • C: ICT Supported R&D in the Arava Regional Research Program;
  • D: The Role of Extension in Developing a Management Information Systems (MIS) – The Cohen Nursery Case Study;
  • E. Internet Services for Agricultural Extension in Israel (An Israeli Situation Review from 1996).

 

AUTHORS INFORMATION

 

Chapter 8

 

                                                                   JAPAN

Masami Yamada

  1. OVERVIEW OF AGRICULTURAL SCENARIO AND EXTENSION SYSTEMS IN JAPAN

1.1   Japanese Agricultural Policy and its Short History

1.2   Agricultural Extension System as a Realization of Agricultural Policies

  1. THE IMPORTANCE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION

2.1.  The Importance of Information in Agricultural Extension

2.2. The Importance of ICTs in Agricultural Extension

2.3. Advantages and Disadvantages of New Extension Methods Using ICT

2.4. Popularization of the Internet Useful for Agriculture

2.5. The Role of the Public Extension System for Providing Information

  1. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) SCENARIO IN JAPAN

3.1.  Short History of National IT Strategy

3.2. IT Strategy in the Agricultural Sector

3.2.1     Utilization for Farm Management

3.2.2     Provision of Information to Consumers

3.2.3   Improvement of Government Services

3.2.4     Improvement of Food Distribution Systems

3.2.5     Resource Management

3.2.6     Improvement of Convenience of Living in Rural Areas

  1. NATIONAL POLICY ON ICTs IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION

4.1. Establishment of a National Agricultural Extension Information Centre

4.2. Nationwide Extension Network System by PC Communication

4.3. Nationwide Extension Information Network Service via the Internet

4.4. e-Learning

4.5. Information Dissemination Service to Regional Farmers by Prefectural Extension Centers

  1. PRESENT SITUATION OF INFORMATIZATION IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION SITES

5.1. ICT Devices in Farm Households and Internet Use

5.2. ICT Devices for Farm Management

5.3. Attitude of Advanced Farmers Towards Various Information Sources

  1. A CASE OF REVITALIZATION OF A MOUNTAINOUS AREA BY ICT

6.1. “Tsumamono” Ordering System by ICT

6.2. The Effect of the Introduction of the Information System on the Region

  1. A CASE OF ICT UTILIZATION FOR DISTRIBUTION OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS

7.1.  Nationwide Network SEICA Bridge between Producers and Consumers

  1. THE WAY FORWARD

 

REFERENCE

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Chapter 9

                                                               JORDAN

Esmat AlKaradsheh, Asmahan Farred Hattar, Ashraf Saber

Alhawamdeh and Samia Nadim Akroush

 

  1. General Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Agriculture in Jordan
  4. National Centre for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE)
  5. Agricultural Extension in Jordan
  6. Approaches of Agricultural Extension in Jordan

6.1.  Individual or Face-To-Face Method

6.2.  Group Methods

6.2.1.    Extension Programmers

6.2.2.    Farmer Field Schools (FFS):

6.2.3.    Demonstration Method

6.2.4.    Field Days

6.2.5.    Farmers Visits

6.3.  Mass Media

6.3.1.    Radio

6.3.2.    Television

6.3.3.    Films

6.3.4.    Campaign

6.3.5.    Publications

6.3.6.    Exhibitions

6.3.7.    Newspaper

  1. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

7.1. Importance of Introducing ICT in Agricultural Extension

7.2. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Jordan

7.3. National ICT Strategy

7.3.1.    e-Government in Jordan: Vision

7.3.2.    e-readiness and preparedness for e-government in Jordan

  1. Main Conclusions and Recommendations

 

References

Authors Information

 

 

Chapter 10

 

                                                              NIGERIA

Olufemi Martins Adesope, Moses okwusi and Ike Nwachukwu

 

 

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION
  3. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
  4. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES IN AFRICA
  5. ROLE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT
  6. TYPES OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND LEVEL OF INTEGRATION IN RURAL AREAS
  7. ROLE OF COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
  8. Farmers Capability in the Utilization of Information and communication technology for Agriculture in south-eastern nigeria

8.1.  Methodology

8.2. Sampling Procedure and Sample Size

8.3.    Results and Discussion

8.3.1.    Extent of the availability of ICTs to farmers

8.3.2.    Capability for utilization of ICTS for Agricultural purposes

8.4.  Conclusion

8.5.  Recommendations

  1. CASE STUDIES IN NIGERIA
  2. IMPLICATIONS FOR AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION

 

REFERENCES

AUTHORS INFORMATION

 

Chapter 11

 

RWANDA

 

Charles Karemangingo, Edward Mutandwa, Nathan Taremwa Kanuma and

Frank Mugisha

  1. AN OVERVIEW OF RWANDA’S SOCIO-ECONOMIC SETTING
  2. STRUCTURE OF THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR

2.1.  Contribution of Agriculture to Rwanda’s Economic Vista

  1. AN OVERVIEW OF THE POLICY ENVIRONMENT AFFECTING AGRICULTURE IN RWANDA
  2. HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF THE AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SYSTEM IN RWANDA
  3. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION POLICY IN RWANDA
  4. THE NEED FOR ICT IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

6.1. The ICT Policy Environment in Rwanda

  1. ICT INNOVATIONS USED IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT OF RWANDA

7.1. Rwanda Info-Bus Project

7.2.  Access to HIV/AIDS and Health Information through Cell Phone Facilities

7.3. Use of Video-Conferencing and Multi-Media Platforms

7.4. BCS Tuvugane Community Payphones

7.5. National Radio and Television Programs on Agriculture

7.6.  Rwanda e-Soko Project

  1. IMPACT OF ICT INNOVATIONS IN RWANDA
  2. THE WAY FORWARD

REFERENCES

AUTHORS INFORMATION

Chapter 12

SRI LANKA

Rohan Wijekoon and M.F.M. Rizwan

  1. OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL AGRICULTURE SCENARIO – NATIONAL EXTENSION SYSTEMS, SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE
  2. NEED FOR ICTs IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
  3. IT SCENARIO IN THE COUNTRY IN THE PAST AND IT PENETRATION IN RURAL AREAS
  4. e-EXTENSION IN THE PAST

4.1. Phase I- An Alternative Approach to Cyber Extension: Digital/ Wireless Extension Strategies

4.1.1. Digital Extension Strategy 1

Use of IMM CD-ROMs as Crop Based Information Material Interface and              Navigational Design of CD- ROMs

4.1.2. Digital Extension Strategy 2

Use of Interactive Multimedia to Develop Low Cost Audio Visual Aids

4.1.3. Digital Extension Strategy 3

New Dimension for Web Based (Internet) Delivery  Mechanism with CD-ROMs

4.1.4. Digital Extension Strategy 4

Develop Digital Training Material (Audio Visual Aids) for Extension and Training

4.1.5. Digital Extension Strategy 5

Distance Learning Mechanism for Agriculture Research and Production Assistants (ARPAs)

4.2. Phase II

Real Cyber Extension with Connectivity

4.2.1. Expanded Use of Online Resources

4.2.2. Farmer Database for e-marketing

  1. Other ICT Initiatives for Agriculture Extension

5.1. Toll Free Agriculture Advisory Service

5.2. Information Dissemination through Agro-Technology Park

5.3. Cyber Agriculture Wikipedia

  1. IMPACT OF ICTS IN AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY/ INFORMATION DISSEMINATION, TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION

6.1. Results of the Progress Reports of the Cyber Units

6.2. Results of the Observation of Cyber Evaluation Team

6.3. Results of the Questionnaire Survey

6.4. Field Impact Survey

  1. INDIRECT BENEFIT AFTER ESTABLISHING CYBER EXTENSION

7.1. Keeping the Rural Agriculture Extension Office Opened            through the Entire Week

7.2. Upgrading Rural Agriculture Extension Office to the      Level of National Audio Visual Centre

7.3. Establishment of Cyber User Groups

7.4. Joint Ventures with Other Organizations

  1. ON GOING PH.D STUDIES ON CYBER EXTENSION IN SRI LANKA
  2. LESSONS

9.1. Lack of Awareness

9.2. Problem of Officers Who Manage the Cyber Unit

9.3. Administration Problems

9.4. Negative Attitude of Some Individuals at Senior Management   Levels towards ICT Initiatives

  1. THE WAY FORWARD

REFERENCES

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Chapter 13

SUB SAHARAN AFRICA

Kristin Elizabeth Davis and Benjamin K Addom

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. OVERVIEW OF NATIONAL AGRICULTURE AND EXTENSION SCENARIOS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
  3. NEED FOR ICTs IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
  4. ICT SCENARIO AND USE BY EXTENSION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: THE FOUR COUNTRY CASES

4.1.  ICT Scenario

4.2. Use of ICTs in Extension in Sub-Saharan Africa, Focusing on Ghana

  1. NATIONAL POLICY ON ICT IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION:THE FOUR COUNTRY CASES
  2. CASE STUDIES IN ICTs FOR AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN ETHIOPIA,       GHANA, KENYA, AND MALAWI

         6.1.  Ethiopia

6.2.  Ghana

6.2.1   The Ghana Agricultural Information Network System (GAINS)

6.2.2     Community Information Centers (CICs)

6.2.3     Market Information Systems and Traders’ Organizations of West Africa (MISTOWA)

6.2.4     Special Business Development Unit (SBDU)

6.2.5     Eastern Corridor Agro-Market Information Center (ECAMIC) Project

6.3. Kenya

6.4. Malawi

  1. IMPORTANT ISSUES WITH REGARD TO ICTs APPLICATION FOR AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION

7.1. Haves and Have Nots: The Digital Divide

7.2. Women and ICTs

7.3. Capacity and Skills

  1. IMPACT OF ICTS IN AGRICULTURE AND THE RURAL ECONOMY
  2. LESSONS AND EXPERIENCES FROM ICT USE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
  3. THE WAY FORWARD AND RECOMMENDATIONS

REFERENCES

AUTHORS INFORMATION

Chapter 14

SUDAN

Rafaa Ashamallah Ghobrial

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS

2.1. Agricultural Extension Systems

2.2. Geo-Information Systems

2.3. Documentation and Library Systems

  1. AGRICULTURAL CLIENTELE AND STAKEHOLDERS
  2. AGRICULTURE, LIBRARY AND INFORMATION, COMPUTER SCIENCE, INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES’ EDUCATION

4.1. Agricultural and Technology Transfer University Education

4.2. Library and Information Science Education

4.3. Computer Sciences and ICT Education

  1. SUDAN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

5.1. ISIS Based System

5.2. Greenstone (http://www.greenstone.org/)

5.3. CD-ROM Technology

5.4. Electronic and Networking Technologies

5.4.1. Intranet

5.4.2. Internet

5.4.3. Global System for Mobile [GSM] Cellular Network Operator

  1. SUDAN INFORMATION DISSEMINATION

6.1. Sudan Television and Broadcasting (STB)

6.2. Information Dissemination Challenges

6.3. Sudan Agricultural Knowledge and Extension Services Collaboration

  1. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

REFERENCES

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Chapter 15

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

Edwin Joseph

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. ISSUES RELATED TO COMMUNICATION, TRANSPORTATION, AND ICT APPLICATION
  3. AGRICULTURE AND INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY VISION STATEMENT
  4. OVERVIEW OF NATIONAL AGRICULTURE SCENARIO
  5. NATIONAL EXTENSION SYSTEM: SCOPE AND HISTORY
  6. RATIONALE FOR ICTs IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION: RECOGNIZING THE NEED
  7. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION AND ICT OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVING EXTENSION
  8. CELL PHONE AS A POTENTIAL MEDIUM FOR EXTENSION AND ICT INTEGRATION
  9. EXTENSION AND e-AGRICULTURE—BEST PRACTICES AND INNOVATIONS
  10. INNOVATIONS FOR THE FUTURE: UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY

10.1. Defining GIS

10.2. Defining GPS

  1. A MODEL FOR INTEGRATING SPATIAL TECHNOLOGIES WITH ICT IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
  2. JUSTIFICATION FOR GIS AND GPS INTEGRATION
  3. GIS, GPS, AND MULTIMEDIA INTEGRATION IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
  4. NATIONAL POLICY ON IT IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
  5. CURRENT BEST ICT APPLICATION IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: NAMDEVCO
  6. VISIONS FOR THE FUTURE

REFERENCES

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Chapter 16

ZIMBABWE

Christopher Tafara Gadzirayi, Eliada Gudza, Godfrey SibandaTitle and Justin Mupinda

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

1.1. The Agriculture Sector of Zimbabwe

1.2. Contribution of Agriculture to the National Economy

1.3. Support Systems

  1. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SYSTEMS IN ZIMBABWE

2.1. Organizational Background

2.2. Agricultural Extension Approaches in Zimbabwe

2.2.1. The Group Development Area Approach (GDA)

2.2.2. Master Farmer Training

2.2.3. The Radio/ TV Group Approach

2.2.4. The Training and Visit System (T&V)

2.2.5. Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSRE)

2.2.6. Commodity-Based Approach (CBA)

2.3. Reflections on Zimbabwe Agricultural Extension Services

  1. ICTs IN ZIMBABWE’S AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SYSTEM

3.1. ICT in Zimbabwe Agriculture Sector

3.2. Zimbabwe ICT Policy and Its Application to Agriculture Extension

3.2.1. Zimbabwe Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (2005)

3.2.2. Policy Objectives

3.2.3. ICT Policy Statements

3.2.4. Status of ICTs in Zimbabwe

3.2.5. Fixed Network Subscribers 1998 – 2004

3.2.6. Mobile Subscribers 1998 – 2004

3.2.7. Applying ICTs to the Department of Agricultural Extension Services

3.2.8. ICT Training in Agricultural Extension

  1. ZIMBABWE ICT SCENARIO IN THE LAST TWO DECADES

4.1. Innovative ICTs Initiatives for Agricultural Extension in Zimbabwe

4.1.1. e-Hurudza

4.1.2. Taguta Software

4.1.3. Virtual Reality (The Rural Life Skill Development Project)

4.1.4. TV and Radio “Talking Farming” Programme

4.1.5. Telecenters

4.1.6. Newsletters/magazines

4.1.7. Research Journals

  1. e-AGRICULTURE DISTRIBUTION IN ZIMBABWE
  2. ICT RESEARCH IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION

6.1. Findings

  1. THE FUTURE OF ICTs IN ZIMBABWE’S AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SECTOR

Book Review:

Saravanan (ed), ICTs for Agricultural Extension, New India Publishing Agency, New Delhi, 2010.

This 557 page book documents the application of information and communication technologies to agricultural extension in 28 countries worldwide. The countries range from small island nations in the Caribbean to those in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. North and South America are omitted. The editor has shaped the book so that the contributors follow a standard outline, making it convenient for the reader to compare situations across political and cultural scenes. Each author first lays out the country’s national agricultural scenario, describing the role of agriculture in the nation’s economy and the status of agricultural extension.Then there is a shift to a review of information and communication technology (ICT) development in the country, paying particular attention to its reach into the rural areas. Next is a discussion of how ICTs can contribute to a vitalization of extension, with case studies demonstrating some of their potential. Each chapter concludes with a set of recommendations — usually not directed at any specific entity but more in the sense of “these are actions that somebody should take.”

While there is uniqueness in each of the contributions, there are some prominent themes that emerge from the book as a whole. Not surprisingly, it is universally agreed that information is a vital element in today’s agriculture. A trio of three agricultural extension authorities from Nigeria explain that increases in demand for food and fibre, the occurrence of new pests and diseases that directly affect agriculture, new marketing systems, and international policies that attend globalization of the food system cause information management to be more serious than before. It is clear that these conditions present a challenge for agricultural extension systems in all of the countries represented in the book.

As to the state of extension, the chapter on Bangladesh captures the essence of similar views found in the 28 countries: “Over the years, the inability of the human-based extension system to deliver relevant, timely and appropriate information to support the farmers has increasingly led to a decline in the overall performance of the section” (p. 4). Coupled with this problem is the common concern about the inadequacy of extension in terms of numbers of agents and other field staff. In Japan, for example, an contributor reports that there are two million farm households and 8,600 agricultural advisors, or one advisor for every 230 farm households. “It is very difficult,” the author asserts, “to advise all of them using conventional extension methods such as workshops or conversations” (p. 271). The data that Dr. Saravanan, the editor, provides for the India chapter are more staggering. There are about 120 million farm holdings in India and the number is growing every year. The country would like to have one village extension person for each 800-1,000 farm families. This means more than a million agricultural agents are needed. With the current supply at 100,000, the very substantial gap is be bridged by “the extensive use of ICTs” (p. 119).

Case studies from the 28 countries suggest that there is no shortage of ideas on how ICTs can contribute to agricultural development and the welfare of rural families. Most of the authors assume that ICTs include the traditional media such as radio, telephone and television along with newer digital technologies. For example, in Sri Lanka, where there has been an “inevitable land-slide and deterioration of the entire agricultural extension system in the country” (p. 384), the Government has made extensive use of Cyber Extension Units that are woven into the conventional Agrarian Service Centres. The Units use media ranging from flip charts to CDs and webpages to inform farmers and train agricultural staff.

While the emphasis throughout the book is on government extension services, some case studies come from the private sector. In India, for example, Saravanan describes non-governmental organizations and corporate bodies that are using ICTs in their extension efforts. One of these is the e-Choupal system initiated by ITC Ltd that reaches four million farmers. ITC puts a computer in a farmer’s home and this becomes an access point for other farmers to obtain not only crop and market information but also information on education, health and other issues. There were about 6,500 of these e-Choupals in 2011.

Despite the many problems identified in the book, there is some evidence of enthusiasm for what ICTs might accomplish in extension. In Ireland, an author reports that the Ministry of Agriculture has been among the “most enthusiastic supporters of the Government of Ireland’s policy by promoting the adoption and use of ICTs among its clients” (p. 201). However that position is not shared throughout the book. In Rwanda we encounter the view that most of the ICT-related agricultural initiatives are still in their experimental stage, so “as such there is no concrete evidence on whether these programs have a significant impact on rural populations” (p. 376).

Saravanan and the contributors to this book had a challenging assignment. They have done well to describe a situation that is in a dynamic state of change, as indeed are the people and agriculture in the 28 countries about which they write. For example, the issue of ICT infrastructure (and specifically inadequate infrastructure) frequently arises. This relates to the repeated observation that farmers and other rural people do not have access to services such as internet connectivity. The authors also perceive that many farmers do not understand or appreciate the benefits of ICTs. However, the impressive penetration of mobile phones in many of these countries may be changing the situation.

Although many of the countries cited in the book have national ICT policies, it is widely conceded that officials in high places and at the local level may be obstacles more than advocates. This may happen in part because those officials see ICTs as a threat rather than a helper. The report from Greece, for example, suggests that “as farmers become increasingly able to ‘info-graze’ around the world…the role of the extension agent may be undermined” (p. 90). Other officials may be facing the dilemma of competition for scarce financial resources.

In all of these regards, it is important to note that we have been in a state of transition for the last two decades and that many leaders and other adults today are pre-digital. They entered professional life (as did this writer) using a typewriter and with no formal instruction in computer technologies nor web pages. We were pioneering audio cassettes! We may be uneasy with newer ICTs. However, there are efforts being made to train current and future leaders in the strategic application of ICTs in development which may help put ICT policy and practice together. (See “Meeting the Challenge of ICT Leadership” in this issue of the Journal). A new generation of leaders will have had a more intimate and comfortable experience with ICTs in their education.

The transition has obviously occurred and is occurring in the ICT media. We know that the computer has not reached many rural people, but the mobile phone has. As recently as 2008, one source cited in the book estimated that 90% of the clients of Teagasc, Ireland’s official extension service had mobile phones, and that this was an important new medium for disseminating information rapidly to Irish farmers (p. 217). In April 2011, UNESCO sponsored an on-line debate on the social and economic impact of mobile phones in developing countries, driven by the fact that mobile phones have made personal communications readily accessible, for the first time, to women and men, poor and prosperous, rural and urban dwellers in developing as well as in industrial countries.

Saravanan’s ICTs for Agricultural Extension is an illuminating view of extension across the world. All of its contributors and the editor himself have excellent credentials related to extension. They have been in government extension services or have taught extension in their countries’ higher education institutions. Both the text and the extensive list of references in each chapter make this a good reference book for university students and others who are to become part of the new wave of the agricultural and rural development ICT environment.

Royal D. Colle

-Dr. Royal D. Colle
International Professor Emeritus
115 Kennedy Hall, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York, USA 14853

Note: Published in the Journal of Development Communication,