The history of agriculture is the history of the human civilization. One thing for sure, no occupation is by far more important and noble than that of the agriculture as people can stop working but they can’t stop eating. Next important thing is that there is more mouth to feed but less food to be fed. So, agriculture has no options rather than advancement and modernization for better production that can cope with the day to day increasing demand. Nepal also cant remains untouched by this problem as by far this case is more serious in case of underdeveloped countries like Nepal. The new concept of modernization in shape of information and communication technology is being a recent success in agriculture.
ICT is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications. ICT is relatively new term as in context of Nepal.The good thing about ICT is that it can easily be transferable from urban areas to the rural areas where it is actually more needed and be effective. The main operations in agriculture where ICT is mainly needed are cultivation, water management, fertilizer application, pest management, post-harvestmanagement, transportation, packaging, quality management and food marketing. It can play more than role of extension worker when it comes to agriculture. Moreover, it can also end the lucrative business of middlemen by acting as a bridge between government, farmer and consumer.
With a daily outgoing of about 1500 Nepalese manpower to the gulf countries, there is a sudden backdrop of human manpower in every sector including the agriculture. This lack of manpower can also be somewhat overcome by the use of information technology in agriculture sector. Also, nowadays farmer are feeling that their traditional, experience and ability are not very effective in making decision for day to day activities in changing circumstances. Mobile and smart phones offer a great potential for application and positive effect. According to a recent report of the Nepal Telecommunications Authority, the number of subscribers to data/internet services has reached 9,459,600 which represent a 35.7 percent penetration rate. But these numbers mainly represent the users mainly in the urban areas with the facility of internet services. These telecommunication accessories are portable and are easy in operations. From mobile GIS in the field to the scientific analysis of production data at the farm manager’s office, GIS is playing an increasing role in agriculture production throughout the world by helping farmers increase production, reduce costs, and manage their land more efficiently. It can also be effectively used in context of Nepalese farmer’s field also. The global positioning system (GPS) makes possible to record the in-field variability as geographically encoded data. It is possible to determine and record the correct position continuously.
ICT is also not beyond constraints and its penetration beyond the rural areas is being a serious problem in their establishment in these areas. For their establishment a huge amount of investment is needed with large number of potential user and sustainability over a long period of time. For poor and those living in distant areas is not been included in the range of ICT and the monitoring impact calculation is also very difficult as better understanding of the farmer for the adoption and adaptation towards ICT can’t be measured. Another problem for the establishment of the ICT is it doesn’t reach targeted group people on time and also it hasn’t received a considerable attention from the government. Against this backdrop, wise use of ICT could help produce significant benefits in boosting the agricultural GDP.
Many more ICT tech can be applied in many ways in agriculture which will be more fruitful for whole country. A farmer needs a perfect weather forecast and accurate agricultural news to be applied in his farm. Right information on the right time by effective use of ICT results in the boom production of the farm. For this application of the right ICT appliances must be chosen. The use of separate radio station or television channel that forecast 24/7 of agriculture information can be very fruitful for farmers.