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agropedia activities


  Venue: College of Agriculture,SVBPUA&T Meerut                                                   Date: 29-01-09

  In the continuation of creating awareness and training about the agropedia,at SVBPUA&T Meerut  a training workshop is organized by NAIP-IIT Kanpur team on Jan 29 '2009, having an objective to train the users of agropedia so that they can comfortably interact with the website while receiving and contributing knowledge with a vision of knowledge sharing. This workshop adds a new milestone to fulfill the envisaged aims and objective of NAIP towards knowledge management. Twenty two participants were present throughout the workshop. Most of them were members of faculty from different disciplines like Plant Pathology, Agronomy, Animal Husbandry, Horticulture, Agriculture Engineering, Entomology and Soil Science, they together composed a unique agriculture intelligentsia. The IIT Kanpur team was composed of two technical experts (Vikash Awasthi and Amit Tripathy), three agriculture experts (Vimlesh Yadav, Vivek Singh Yogesh Kumar) and one Social Science expert (Amritesh). Mr. Gerard (ICRISAT representative) has also joined us over there and assisted during presentations and training session.

Initially we were brought to the conference room along with the senior professors and head of the departments where the proceedings started with an inaugural session. In the beginning the Dr. O.P. Singh (Director, Extension, SVBPUA&T) has given a welcome addressed to the present members and participants of the workshop and he further coordinated the discussions. He highlighted the role of ICT in the present globalize world and its essence towards the agriculture informatics. He repeatedly stressed upon the usage of new technology in the field of information sharing particularly through the extension networks and cumulative participation. He emphasized that the ITK (Indigenous Technological Knowledge) should be incorporated in agropedia. This has encouraged us to proceed further and take the discussion towards the need and significance of agropedia in the present global society.

Then Mr. Gerard took over the proceedings and briefed the members about the essence and utility of agropedia to various communities including agriculture scientists, extension workers and farmers. This was followed by a short introduction of agropedia website by Mr. Vikash Awasthi. He explained the web functionality and features of agropedia website. As the presentation went ahead, participants started developing more curiosity towards the concepts and knowledge models of agropedia.

After the inaugural session, we are brought to the computer lab, where the training was scheduled. In the first session, we were focused primarily upon train the participants to use the agropedia website. It was a 'Know What' session where the objective was to make them familiar with the contents and features of the website so that one can able to click on the right link on the webpage in order to quickly and easily access the right information. In this process we shown them the 'knowledge models' of various crops created by our NAIP partners.  Then we demonstrated the 'library' where they can search information specific to their need, and add information to it. Further we moved on to 'crop calendar' and 'dos and don'ts' and described the knowledge contained into it.

After teaching them the methods of receptive interaction, we shifted towards the training of contributive interaction with the agropedia website. During this session, we demonstrated and explained the features of web pages titled 'agroblog', 'agrowiki', 'forum' and 'users discussion'. Here we trained them on different methods to participate in contributing knowledge to the agropedia. We kept conveying that our sole intention of this website is knowledge creation and sharing.

The second session was a 'Know How' session where we trained them to use the Cmap tool for creating their own knowledge model. Mr. Gerard (from ICRISAT) initially explained the origin and significance of the Cmap tool its effectiveness to the agriculture knowledge modeling. Later on Vikas has given a nice presentation to on using the Cmap tool in a step by step manner explaining the use of different shapes and colours of the text box, creating relationships etc. This was further supplemented by the presentation of our agriculture expert Dr. Vimlesh, where he taught about the syntax limitations of this tool. He also demonstrated the use of Cmap tools to the participants by taking some simple examples.

After sufficient training, we conducted a session of lab exercise and all the participants were asked to create their login and start their participation through the website. All our team members were assisting them throughout the session and making them familiar about the functionalities of the website. We installed the Cmap tool on their local computers, and thereafter they also did a lab exercise to create a concept map and knowledge model with the help of Cmap tool. We distributed a list of 'relationship' terminologies to help and motivate them to create knowledge models. All the participants were looking very enthusiastic while practicing new methods of doing things. Most of the participants were satisfied with what we provided them so far.

There were several issues that came up during the inaugural and training sessions. These are listed below:

  •  One of the major problems that came up was to make the participants habituated of working on the computer. This is the fundamental requirement for interacting with the website and contributing knowledge to it. Some of the participants did not even create their e-mail ids for online communication. Some of them, who had their e-mail ids, were not using it frequently and had difficulties with using online system.
  •  Some of the participants were asking for the incentives or the benefits they will get when they learn and start contributing contents to the website. Incentives are big motivation factor for the any kind of labor put into practice, particularly when the quality is very high.
  •  Another major issue that came up was knowledge protection. Someone contributing to the website can't ensure that his contribution will not be used for profit making/or business purposes. The role intellectual property rights and infringement comes into picture where agropedia has no detailed and specific policies so far to ensure knowledge security during its sharing. This is the most challenging part of the agropedia philosophy of knowledge sharing. Even the word 'agropedia' has intellectual property rights on it and another website ( with this name already has a trade mark. Therefore one can easily make infringement claims on our brand name of 'agropedia'.
  • It was better, if the training was two days because this is new things for them so they needed more time for getting it and one day is not sufficient for this programme.
  • There was a need for inviting some students and research scholars because they were highly interested and had good knowledge in computer.

One of the objectives of this training workshop was to build capacity among the agriculture experts at various levels to refine and manage the flow of knowledge. Our effort has resulted into increased curiosity of agriculture scientists towards creating knowledge models and web participation. The training illuminated the minds of the participants with the potentials of information and communication technology and its contribution in the field of agriculture.  Their enthusiasm can be guessed from an event when one of the scientists committed to create a knowledge model on animal husbandry after learning the usages of Cmap tools. Creating motivation towards participation is the primary stage of any big project like NAIP, which our team has successfully done in just a few hours of training.






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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.