Report on Training/Workshop 6-7 September, 2011
at BHU, Varanasi
A training programme was organized by the agropedia team, IIT-Kanpur, at B.H.U, Varanasi on 6-7 September 2011. It was a two days training session. On the day one of the training programme the agricultural students were provide training on agropedia. Thirty nine participants were present throughout the workshop. Participants include Ph.D. students from different disciplines like Plant Pathology, Agronomy, Animal Husbandry, Horticulture, Agriculture Engineering, Entomology, Soil Science etc. and they together composed a unique agriculture intelligentsia. On the day two of the training programme the KVK scientists were provided training. In this session the scientists were trained on the two websites especially designed for them KVK-Net (Krishi Vigyan Knowledge -Networks) and vKVK (virtual Krishi Vigyan Kendra). Twenty seven KVK scientists participated in the training programme. The experts were from e-sago project extension workers and co-ordinators. The agropedia team included two agricultural experts Suneel Pandey and Krihna Kant Dubey visited BHU, Varanasi to provide training to the scientists.
Suneel Pandey of IIT-K demonstrated KVK-Net portal (Krishi Vigyan Knowledge -Networks) and vKVK (virtual Krishi Vigyan Kendra). KVK-Net is an Agricultural Knowledge sharing platform which is sponsored by ICAR and is developed by ZPD-4 and IIT- Kanpur. It is meant for the experts at KVK and has interaction tools Blogs, Discussion Board, Event, Community, Chat and Private message. KVK-Net is a platform designed for the experts at KVKs for sharing information and experiences and where the experts of one region can interact with the experts of other region. Currently, it is planned to launch in U.P and Uttaranchal region only. After, its success it is planned to extend to the other states of India also. On the other hand, vKVK is a platform that connects KVKs with farmers through internet and mobile technology. It has SMS and Voice messages facility which facilitates effective and efficient functioning of KVKs as an agro-advisory service provider.
Presentation and Demo on agropedia
He gave an in depth introduction about the vision and aspirations of agropedia portal. Clearly defining the concept of semantic web application, he drew the distinction between agropedia and other websites on Indian agriculture.He described agropedia as an online knowledge repository for information related to agriculture in India with an aim to provide agricultural information on a variety of crops and empower farmers with crop information.
The Introduction was followed by a presentation on agropedia portal by Suneel Pandey. In his presentation he covered all the basic things related to the portal like the Knowledge Models, Extension Material and the Interactions part. He also spoke on the functions of agropedia and how it is different from any other agricultural site, certified and uncertified contents and two kinds of searches available in agropedia semantic and syntactic search. Later, he elaborated the Extension Material on how to upload content in library, Crop Calendar, Dos & Don'ts and Package of Practices. In Interactions section he showed the method of creating wiki page in agrowiki, write their own blog in agroblog, and post the queries in forum and also agrochat which provides its users the facility to do online chat with the online agri experts. The facility of private chat is also available here. In this section any registered users can come online and discuss on the recent agricultural aspects and also ask if they have any query.
The Hands On session
The Hands On session is the end of the training workshop. In this session the participants get the opportunity to come in direct interaction with the agropedia team. They get the chance to gain the practical knowledge of all that was online demonstrated on agropedia. Every participants get chance to browse through the agropedia site. They browse through the whole site and get familiar to its features and functions. They are trained practically on the usage of the site, the methods of creating account, uploading content and image in the content, writing comment or replying to a comment, creating wikipage, blog entry, and forum topic, agrochat, using multilingual editor and inviting their friend on agropedia site and share their agricultural related knowledge and the lastest developments and technologies being used in agriculture. The agropedia team is there to assist them whenever they face any difficulty in accessing the site. Some of the participants even shared their experiences in agroblog, agrowiki and raised queries in agroforum. In this session the participants access the portal on their own and check the features, functions and usage of the site demonstrated earlier.
Presentation on KVK-Net
In his presentation he explained the various functional features of KVK-Net. This platform has various options which make it interactive. To register in the portal one has to first create his account. User can send and receive messages, create blogs & discussion forums, comment on blogs & forums of other people and chat with other users online. Events can be created to schedule a meeting or workshop. Events are followed by Community. Under community there are seven sections in total which includes Corp Science, Horticulture, Extension, HSc. & Economics, NRM, Agriculture Engineering, Animal Husbandry and Fishery. Users can discuss issues as per the community in the relevant community page, like in crop science community the users can talk about all the crops, in the animal husbandry community people can discuss on the disease which affect animals and so on. To honour and recognize the Achievements, a separate page has been created with the sections Innovation and Success Story, where a user can write his/her success stories and share their experiences with others. Discussion Board is a forum, where a user can post any query. The KVK Directory consists of zone wise distribution of all the Krishi Vigyan Kendra's situated in India. The users can click on the links and can get detail information of the KVK of that particular zone. Users Location shows the place and the area a users belongs to. Any user one can send messages through Private messages and in the Message section a user can check his sent and received messages. The users can interact with the online users through chat. A chat window opens as you click on the name of the online user's. Any user can send invitation through Invite a friend and recommend a friend to join KVK-Net platform.
Presentation on vKVK
This was followed by a demonstration on vKVK. He focused on the basic features of the vKVK (virtual Krishi Vigyan Kendra) platform. He demonstrated the method of sending messages to the progressive and general farmers. It is a platform that provides facilities like sending messages i.e. text messages and voice messages directly to the progressive and general category farmers for the services which includes sending advisory, alert and private messages. The messages are created according to zone, and then they are forwarded to the farmers of that particular zone. The platform is created with view to help farmers and guide them to follow the proper cropping system, irrigation system, and the precautions to be taken if any disease spread, insect damage, sudden changes in climatic conditions like drought, flood etc is forecasted.
Hands on session
The demo was followed by the Hands on session. In this session the participants browsed through KVK-Net and the vKVK platforms and created their own account. They went through all the features of provided in the platform and also uploaded some contents and created their own blog entries. This session is mainly conducted to keep a check that the users do not face any difficulty in accessing the site.