Category: Blog Entries
#Blog Entry: 2″ICTs in Nepalese Agriculture”-Bikash Raj Shah

It’s 21st century, the age overwhelmed with science and technology. There are new inventions everyday and humans trying to control over time. The thousands of step just turned on with a click and billions of information gained with on ease.

Nepal, developing country and in its developing phase, the GDP of agriculture is trying to compete with remittance. The world has gone very far with technology but in Nepal, we are just making people aware what does the technology actually mean. The status is poor but the scope is wide. The efforts need to be combined, hands need to collaborated and action needs to be doubled. The ICT and agriculture, with just a meaning has a huge gap among each other but if they are joined, the tremendous effect just boost up on every ways. The era of revolution can be achieved by the use of information communication technology. It is useful from a minute decision to the decision of greater value.

The application of ICT is increasing day by day and the craze of ICT doesn’t have a limit. This craze can be best utilized to enhance the agriculture. The agricultural country can be uplifted to its optimum level with the help of ICT. Radio, television, various mobile applications, websites and blogs related to agriculture, radio frequency identification technology comes under it which has their respective benefit and application.

The radio and television being the most primitive development on the field of technology is still best utilized in Nepal. Programs related to agriculture on community radio and televisions allows farmer to know about various achievements on the field of agriculture, various techniques of cultivation experts voice and awareness on farmer’s right. The call center can be established which encourage farmer to struggle with hindrance on the field. It is best applicable to illiterate farmers.

The ICT connects the farmers among themselves, with experts, with various government bodies and consumers. This helps farmers to know about the rate of fertilizers, hybrid varieties of crops, market value of agricultural products and subsidiary price, latest inventions on the field of agriculture, online magazine and various agriculture related blogs.

The online talk to experts, information on disease pest, soil management practice and crop rotation procedures can be more efficient though ICT. The yield estimation techniques and risk management techniques can be adopted from various developed countries farmers. The ICT provides more knowledge to farmers which make them more interested on agriculture, ultimately commercialization of agriculture and increase in Gross Domestic Product(GDP).

Livestock is also the integral part of agriculture which can be enhanced with the help of ICT. The radio frequency identification of cattle able us to know the condition of cattle. The veterinary doctors are not available in rural areas and the ICT allows farmers to have direct contact with a veterinarian which facilitates the treatment of them. The feed rations and effective handling can be learned from various online videos and articles. The biometric tools can be used for the theft control.

The use of ICT on Nepal is not easy at all. The challenge is on every step which needs to be overcomed. The need of farmer and their wishes encourage spreading awareness. The aim of smiles on their face and right and respect they ought to get. Dream of those muddy hands to get ready for a click to better future, the correct price and value of every product which have sweated them can be achieved by ICT.

Being the youth and responsible citizen we should initiate to spread the awareness. We can’t do it all by ourselves but every step we initiate is actually help in some way.

 

#Blog Entry: 3″ICT’s the only way to promote Agriculture”-Upakar Bhandari

Agriculture is a way of life. Nepal, where more than 65 percent people involve in agriculture as their main occupation for living but still it cannot fulfill their needs.  Subsistence agriculture on the fragment land system is the prevailing in Nepal. Information and Communication Technology can play a key role to upgrade the present Subsistence agriculture into the commercial agriculture. Social Medias , newspaper , radio , television , SMS , Smartphone applications , blogs and various articles on different internet sites are the most to farmers and researchers co-ordination  to learn and share more on agriculture.

 

Nepal with most of the rural areas where agriculture is the daily routine of most of the people. The use of ICT’s in agriculture is  very much important which can be termed as E-agriculture. This involves the use of concepts, design  and evaluation of the process on agriculture enhancing the rural people development . Agriculture involve crop cultivation , water and fertilizer management, entomological and pathological management,  harvesting , post harvest technology , conversion of agro-products through processing , their marketing  maintaining the quality of agro products in a sequential manner. There should be the judicious decision of the farmers in such activities to get maximum outputs with their inputs. There is a necessary of the modern technology and  information.

Geographical situation itself is the boon to Nepali agriculture which suits growth of nearly all type of agro crops  grown in the world  where technology can have special use to this gift of nature. Use of  technology for weather forecasting, geographical situation also uplift the agriculture. Nowadays the use of smart phones is increasing so smart phones applications can play a vital role to flow information and knowledge via different applications. Various smart apps like Krishi-Ghar , Smart Krishi , IFA-Agriculture are disseminating their information and knowledge to the farmer level. Use of Global Positioning System (GPS) provides a wide geographical fencing and mapping . One of the examples of use of GPS in Kenya as Every year Elephants are troubling the farmers by damaging their valuable crops. For the control of this they fit a special device to the elephant that warns when elephant enter such areas with GPS and SMS alerts. Same technology can be beneficial in the Terai region of Nepal where elephants and rhinos are destroying the agriculture crops every year.

 

Radio , television and newspaper are also one of the best way to provides  knowledge of  modern agriculture  to farmer  level. I myself host Agriculture Radio program which give a way to learn the farmer in rural level who have no access of Internet , newspapers. Radio is easy means for farmer to get access with t the information in their own indigenous way in simple way. Through the interview with agriculture scientists , successful  farmers , related authority on agriculture field  and  solving their agricultural problems on crops and livestock’s  disseminate more knowledge and interest to use technology to their agriculture. Audio – visual media are the best way of learning and this can be gain by the farmer with radio and televisions. Success story of farmers from such medias  inspire  them to adopt technology and use in their farms. A easy way to understand and adopt the knowledge  is communication and technology.

 

Many of the technological tools are developed like  automatic milking in the diary technology which  milk the diary milk without human labor which is benefits economically as well in quality management of the diary products. There are other technological invention that lead agriculture to a higher level and uplift the daily living status of Nepali people.

 

Various International and National Conferences focused the use of ICT’s to promote the agriculture. The ultimate way of upgrading the present status of the Nepalese agriculture from the subsistence to a Commercial world of agriculture is ICT’s.  No other way to promote the agriculture other than ICT’s in long term and sustainable development of the nation and people. Nepal definitely can be the world leading nation from the agriculture prospect if the use of ICT’s is promoted from the grass root level .

#Blog Entry: 4″ICTs in Nepalese Agriculture”-Keshab Thapa Magar

Whether it be browsing through courses related to food security or soil in futurelearn, searching related courses in MIT opencourseware, listening to BBC farming today; the trend in every sector has undoubtedly changed in these decades and is yet to change in coming years including agriculture.With cell phones, and androids with well equipped farmers, the apps, let us not forget televisions, radios; more importantly, farmers can get connected with professional and be informed. In this finite world with infinite boundaries of internet and above all sharing the valuable information, knowledge and initiative ideas are the key towards development in any sector. Nepal, yet to be developing country, with ICT, can enter in immediate prospect of development in coming days.

Significant development in ICT in Nepal predates back to 1950s with the commencement of ‘’Radio Nepal’’ in 1951. Since then, agricultural programs in ‘’Radio Nepal’’ and ‘’Nepal Television’’ in the evening (6:40 – 6:55) was the good start, and it still continues today. The first important step of ICT in Nepal is its use in collection of data, its analysis and interpretation, and sharing with people. Journal such as Krishi Diaryfrom Ministry of Agricultural Development, a toll-free number to seek professional advice and various other steps in the field from government are praiseworthy. BBC Nepali’s program on successful farmers on every Tuesday is good and listenable. The talk on different issues about agriculture in Sajha Sawal, considering it as national issue is very appreciative. Furthermore, the winners of Ncell App Camp 2014,‘’ICT for Agriculture’’ proves the ICT in agriculture still to be best and interesting topic in Nepal. Recently, free mobile SMS system on meteorology for farmers is in its last stages of development.

In contrast, not even half of the population has complete access to internet, although there has been increase in cell phone users in Nepal. And, even with increase in smart phone users, ICT cannot be considered reachable in rural areas as only cities such as Kathmandu brags the recent development in it. With more than, thirty independent television channels and four hundred FM radio stations, but not singly developing special programs just focused on agriculture or any channel dedicated for agriculture is a disgraceful waste. Few agro news portal such as halokhabar.com are still to be popular as mainstream. Agro journalism is still in early stages in Nepal and news on agriculture just in few columns of magazines and newspapers are still not enough. Moreover, agriculture institutes such as TU/IAAS Lamjung Campus, Sundarbazar, not yet equipped with e-libraries and other IT related tools still questions what the future scientists would be like.

In addition, facebook groups and pages are somehow popular for people to share different views and opinions in recent incidents in agriculture. The behavior of agricultural minister washeavily criticized in social media including twitter. However, no proper or popular hashtags for Nepalese agriculture in social media is still unsatisfactory. Development of different applications in agriculture for smart phones still makes it unclear how it is helping people from different backgrounds and how many people are actually benefitted. And, it is still uncertain, if only certain people are rejoicing about apps or farmers are actually helped or they are far behind in this whole process. Still to be clear, all farmers from rural areas may not have androids and i-phones in their hand; to say they are benefited from these things is not credible. Nevertheless, SMS system, radio and television programs, free phone calls with agro technicians are sure to help farmers.

Agricultural development is possible in Nepal only when ICT fully understands phases of agriculture in Nepal. Office automation, using of different tools such as computer, and wireless technologies in NGOs and INGOs working in agriculture and rural development is a necessity for better service in Nepal. Use of Global Positioning System (geo-fencing, map-making, surveying), geographic information system, computer controlled devices (such as automated milking), computer aided manufacturing, designs and RFID in livestock production seem relatively new for Nepalese agriculture and are still left to be explored.

ICT should be synchronous with local farmers all over the country. Another aspect is, it should keep on motivating farmers, connecting farmers with farmers, technicians with farmers, farmers with government and agriculture with all over the country. Let, aspects of ICT in Nepalese agriculture not only be the way of filling never ending bellies of white-collar workers and the gossip of big-headed people as usually happens in the country. Nepal has yet to find the full potential in agriculture and yet to discover agricultural context with ICT.

#Blog Entry: 5″ICTs in Nepalese Agriculture”-Suraj Kumar Singh

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.