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Information and Communication Technology in Agriculture and Rural Development (ICT4ARD)

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We live in the age of information. The development and proliferation of electronically ICT has accelerated economic and social change across all areas of human activity worldwide- and it is growing at a rapid pace. While the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) remains concentrated largely in the developed world, but now ICT diffusion is beginning to reach developing countries, including agriculture, rural and allied sectors. Yet although technological innovations, such as cellular telephones and wireless broadband access, are playing an important role in building ICT level globally, strong inequality still remains. The rapid growth of ICTs in developing countries is partly a result of very low initial access, and therefore in absolute terms developing countries are still well behind the developed world access to ICTs.

Information is very critical issues to the social and economic activities relating to development process like Agriculture and Rural development. Indian economy has already witnessed several Revolutionary developments, viz. Green, White, Yellow, Blue, and now Rainbow Revolution in Agriculture, Bio-technological Revolution, Industrial Revolution and Information Technology (IT) Revolution etc. Good Communicating System coupled with Information Technology has a great potential for providing needed support to the agriculture in achieving sustainable production by way of timely dissemination of agricultural technology needed by the farmers. These technologies have in fact converged to ICT which is defined as the technologies involved in collecting, processing, storing, retrieving, disseminating and implementing data and information using microelectronics, optics, telecommunications and computers.

"It is well recognized that the computer images and video clips of actual application of agriculture technology can have far greater impact on the minds and psyche of the rural, uneducated farmers than the textual descriptions of the technology. With the greater emphasis on establishing rural information kiosks and Kisan Call Centers along with countrywide investment in creating information connectivity fiber optics backbone, the rural masses in the remote corners of the country can have far greater access to the information through ICT. Thus, as an alternative, ICT offers a more efficient, attractive and interactive medium for information dissemination and provides a novel opportunity for taking scientific knowledge/technologies to the end user"

                                                                                              ---Handbook of Agriculture, ICAR

There are following areas where ICT is applied:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Microfinance
  3. Environment and Natural Resource Management
  4. GIS and Remote Sensing in land Water Management
  5. Precision Farming
  6. Livelihood 
  7. Education
  8. Health (Teli-medicine)
  9. Citizen Empowerment
  10. E-governance
  11. Cyber Extension
  12. Cultural Heritage and tuarism dipartment
  13. Desaster Management
  14. Rural Watersupply and Sanitation and 
  15. Others

        There are few institutions who has been taken innatiative in the field of ICT4ARD and they are offering a course in this field. Foolowing institures are offering ICT4ARD course:

  1. Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technololgy(DA-IICT), Gandhinagar, Guajarat
  2. National Academy of Agricultural Research and Manegement (NAARM), Hyderabad
  3. International Institute of Information technology(IIIT), Hyaderabad


With regards,
Anil Kuamar Sahu
DA-IICT, Gandhinagar
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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.