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Report on agropedia and Open Agri Training Workshop at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi



    A training workshop was organized by the agropedia NAIP-IIT Kanpur team and Department of Agricultural   Extension Banaras Hindu University at Varanasi on 9th of April 2010. The training workshop was mainly organized to create awareness about agropedia portal and to train the users so, that they can comfortably interact with the website while receiving and contributing knowledge. Thirty five participants were present throughout the workshop. Participants mainly included Ph.D. students from different disciplines like Agricultural Extension, Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, Animal Husbandry & Dairy, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Genetics and Plant Breeding and Soil Science, etc. All the participants looked very enthusiastic and participated patiently till the workshop ended.

This was followed by a presentation covering the total overview of agropedia portal by Mr. Amit Tripathi, Dr. Sharwan Shukla and Dr. Rahul K. Rai. The session ended with a presentation on agropedia portal by Amit who explained about agropedia, its features, new releases, and the basic functions of the site. He also laid emphasis on how agropedia site is different from any other agricultural sites, certified and uncertified content, semantic and syntactic search. The first half session ended with a brief lecture on Open agri - An open access agriculture research repository also known as the new dimension of agropedia. Dr. Sharwan Shukla demonstrated the knowledge model and explained the usages and operation of cmap tool which turned out to be a very informative and interactive session.

Training Session

In this session we primarily focus in providing training to the workshop participants on how to use the agropedia website. In this session the participants are given practical training of how to operate the agropedia site as well as were our main objective stands to make the users familiar with the contents and features of the website so that one can able to click on the right link and on the webpage in order to quickly and easily access the right information. During the training session the participants saw the 'knowledge models' of various crops created by the NAIP partners.  Then to the Extension Material which consists of 'library' where one 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. Training was also provided on the preparation of knowledge models on different crop varieties based on the guidelines prepared by our agricultural scientists.

After teaching the methods of receptive interaction, we shifted towards the training of contributive interaction with the agropedia website. During this session, the features of web pages titled 'agroblog', 'agrowiki', 'forum', 'agrochat' and 'users discussion' were demonstrated and explained. Here the participants were trained on different methods to participate in contributing knowledge to the agropedia. The participants were guided on uploading contents to agrowiki & Library, uploading images, writing a blog entry and forum and online chatting facility through agrochat.

Feedback and Issues

  • The workshop participants stated the agropedia site as a huge knowledge bank for all the agricultural community.
  • Questions were raised on how to determine the authenticity of the uploaded content in   agrowiki.
  • The BHU Agricultural Extension Department has suggested content should be more authentic.
  • The participants were suggested to make knowledge models of all crops and different discipline in agriculture such as animal husbandry, all horticultural crops (fruit and vegetable) etc.
  • Crop selection was also asked as on what basis we have selected these nine crops and why not selected the other crops.
  • Participants were ready to make knowledge model on animal husbandry, agricultural extension but they wished if it was published in agropedia website in their own name.   
  • To include all the national and international agricultural journal and uploaded in Open Agri.
  • They appreciated the concept of videos being uploaded related to different agricultural methods and needs.