Monthly Archives: July 2015
#Blog Entry:17″Agriculture, make it full circle with ICT”-Sujan Adhikari

Agriculture merely had been like magic with human minds and its tool, ICT. It is in practice since dawn of human civilization and it is basis to human life. Many countries in the world had progressed much in agriculture and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) played key role to make it happen. While we don’t see strong position of Nepalese Agriculture in ICT.

Why Youth ignore agriculture?

We are limited on natural way of farming. It’s hectic when we don’t get more than we sow. So, its time to change our range form human labour to ICT. Lets feed the world by what we browse.

So, here we need ICT to change people’s perception regarding farming and view it as an exciting, serving and innovative sector. Certainly ICT can deter young people away from stereotypes of traditional farming.

Status of ICT in Nepalese Agriculture:

ICT4AG2Though this ICT was already familiar in developed countries, we are on the preliminary stage of using ICT in Nepalese Agriculture. Agriculture looks different today – our farmers are using GPS and you can monitor your irrigation systems over the Internet.

We can count uses of ICT in Nepalese Agriculture in our fingers. In last decades there are TV, Radio programs to help farmers.We had few agriculture based smart phone apps like “Smart Krishi”, “Krishi Ghar”. We can browse the prices of vegetables in Kalimati Bazar from our smart phones today. Yeah some are using GPS while some are using ICT in extension services. But we still need a giant leap with ICT.

ICT, how we can make it happen in Nepalese Agriculture?

 

Race had begun to prioritize ICT for Development and the race is between private sectors in Nepalese Agriculture. Some possible uses of ICT can be:

  •  Many land are kept fallow due to shortage of labour and capital and on the other hand some people are in search of land. So keeping records of large farming land along with its edaphic properties in internet can help possible stakeholders to use them properly in lease.
  •  Since agriculture is sector of high risk and uncertainties, mobile SMS system can be boon in remote villages of Nepal where people grow different crops and valuable products. They will be informed about weather, disease and markets value so; they can cope up with any uncertainties. It will also provide them with cost of necessary items for cultivation like seeds, fertilizers etc.
  • Farmer can put any queries regarding their cultivation through video calls with experts. It can be best Extension methods for proper dissemination of knowledge. Farmer can set time for regular discussion.
  • Effective use of GPS can help farmer in map-making, geo fencing and surveying. It help farmer to sow seeds in even spacing.
  •  Geographic Information System (GIS) has great scope in Nepal to design and layout field before cultivation. It saves time and labour and gives out accurate designing.
  • Establishment of call centers can help boost our traditional agriculture. Government or Agricultural University can either establish it. It will help agricultural students to share their knowledge as well.
  • Online selling and buying of agro-products. It helps to seek market and fix price easily. It can be great efforts for farmers and consumers too.
  • Data collection and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are a vital part of development work. We can effectively use smart tools to collect data in survey. It only saves our time only, but increases accuracy too.

 

These are only some way of getting information through computer technology. But the future of Nepalese agriculture lie on these tools and one day everything (information, evaluation and work), will be done by drones and robot for us.

ICT Tools Level of implementation Level of easiness for implementation
Mobile SMS System Limited (2,3 Districts) High
Video Calls Not Followed High
Database of Lands Zero High
Data Collection Partially used Easy and High SR
GPS Limited Relatively Easier
Online Market Informal Easy and has high scope
Call Centers Zero Easier and High success rate
GIS Limited Easy and useful
Precision Farming Zero Low but highly useful

Table 1.0       ICT, its level and ease for implementation.

 

Its time to act:

Its time to manoeuvre and raise our country. Everything in this sphere is changing and so our culture and agriculture.

Nepal, an agricultural country where 2/3rd of its population’s occupation is agriculture and 1/4th of its population still lie below poverty line. So, its time to change these statistics and status with ICT. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.

 

 

Really the world seems out of imagination. Lets implant technology in our farmers mind. Aye we youth can change.

#Blog Entry:16″Role of ICTs in Nepalese agriculture”-Sameer Pokhrel

It always needs two to tango. Communication is the basis for the modern science, technology, literature, arts and all other fields. But the pith of the matter these days is how broadly we communicate.

Information Communication Technology

Image Credit: http://www.ijictt.ictt.info/

What is ICT
Information and communication Technology (ICT) is the advanced form of global communication. This technology includes computer network, telephone networks, wireless technology, Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information System (GIS), computer controlled devices, mobile applications, e- learning, e- commerce, computer aided design and so on. In broad sense, it helps user to access, store, transmit and manipulate the information. These days, ICT has been applied in many fields globally.

Role in Agriculture

women-in-farming

Image Credit: Sanjay Dhakal /YPARD

Agriculture no more is family oriented. It demands commercialization. It has claimed itself as one of the leading business of the world. Every crop we grow today is finally weighed with its monetary value. Of course, Agriculture is profit oriented. Each and every activities related to agriculture including sowing, irrigation management, fertilizer management, pest management, harvesting, storage, food preservation, food safety, food marketing and lots of other minor to major ones requires the knowledge of ICT. Today a farmer can get a ton of fertilizer on a single click of an “OK” button, a consumer can demand for quintals of corn grains just by clicking a “YES” button. And of course, ICT made it possible.

Agro-meteorological information is like appendage to successful agriculture. Agro-outputs are highly dependent upon meteorological information. E-learning is simply inevitable. A single crop you grow can alter the global economy if you know the nub of the agriculture.
In gist; transformation from spade to computer gives a great taste in agriculture.

Status in Nepal

Last 5 decades, Information and Communication has taken a huge leap in Nepalese context. According to Nepal Telecommunication Authority its total user has reached 85.6% up to mid Dec 2014. Telecommunication penetration rate has been increased by 12.88% in 1 year. Similarly internet penetration rate has reached 38.09%. That means no house is away from the touch of communication. Even a 4 and half years child across the country would show the sense of déjà vu towards radio and television.
Thanks to those achievements, however its use in the agriculture is a recent concept. KRISHI KARYAKRAM from Nepal Television (NTV) possibly is the one to get its feet wet. Recently the few smart phone application like Krishi Ghar , Smart Krishi have let the cat out the bag. Kudos to the KISSAN CALL CENTRE initiative by Agricare Pvt.Ltd. However ICT in Nepal is just a neonate.

Constrains

Surfing on internet is immature till these days. Mobile phones are meant just to call relatives and text them.
People generally follow the subsistence agriculture and is seldom profit oriented. Moreover, they follow the same traditional pattern as hand over by their fore fathers. That’s why they show apathy towards such matters. Farmers often tend to make their farm a sort of museum growing everything they thought of. Ironically, success stories are monoculture based in present world. Farmers think computer as a rocket science and none of their business.
Brain drain is massive. According to the Government of Nepal migrant worker has soared to 480,990 this fiscal year. Only old aged and illiterate people are assigned to deal agricultural affairs.

Possible solutions

65% people are involved in agriculture. A single achievement could bring a huge change in the economy. Well, being realistic,a television channel dealing with the agricultural affairs is highly recommended. A toll free number to contact an expert should be mandatory in each telephone networking system of Nepal. Motto should be there about the control of brain drain. Online marketing is crucial; provision should be there to promote such sectors. Timely information on Agro-meteorological condition could bring an enormous change. A farmer can manipulate cropping pattern or a crop itself based on that information. Digital touch between national and international agencies can play a great role. A success story might bring voluminous change on the vision of a farmer. In addition, e- learning should be mandatory for each agricultural college. The problem of what I want to call black hole, is severe in Nepal, yes the Middle men. The chasm between the cost at which farmer sales and the ultimate consumer buys is huge. To lower this, proper tuning between the farmer and the consumer is necessary. For which ICT could play a major role.
Finally, transformation from Agriculture to Egriculture might bring change about what we think when we talk about agriculture.