GTech, NABARD join hands to connect with farmers

>> Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Group of Technopark Companies (GTech) is planning to team up with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) to launch a rural connect programme with the aim of sharing technology trends and marketing strategies with the farming community of the State.

The proposal was floated at the end of a one-day conference on ‘Re-engineering Kerala agriculture sector: Information and Communication Technologies in agriculture' that the GTech had hosted recently in Technopark.


According to Mr Binu Sankar, Chief Executive Officer, GTech, the proposal, originally mooted by farmer representatives taking part in the conference, would be taken up positively after working out the modalities.

The conference was held in partnership with the regional office of Nabard, the Kerala State IT Mission, the India Institute of Information Technology and Management (IITM-K) and Technopark.

The farmers' clubs set up under Nabard tutelage and the NGOs working in the farm sector presented two options for a platform to reach out to the farmers, Mr Binu Sankar said.

Finer details would be worked out after taking this up with Nabard officials. But, GTech already has a working model in its Campus Connect programme.

Meanwhile, the one-day conference in Technopark had three sessions dedicated to the use of ICT in agriculture marketing, production and extension services and examined several ongoing projects that aim to provide IT-based services to specific sectors.

It also discussed the core issues facing the agriculture sector and how ICT could be employed in addressing these challenges.


In his special address, Dr Ajay Kumar, Principal Secretary IT, Kerala, said that one of the areas where IT can be beneficially applied is agriculture but, ironically, nowhere else was its implementation as glaringly low as it was in agriculture.

Dr Kumar highlighted the two initiatives of the State government in this context – Kissan Kerala and the eKrishi project in Malappuram.

A database of all farmers in at least five districts has been created and the exercise would now be extended to cover the rest of the districts.

According to Mr K.C. Shashidhar, Chief General Manager of the Kerala Regional Office of Nabard, the apex agricultural bank would fund a project to consolidate ICT initiatives for the agriculture sector. Prof Rajeev Srinivasan, said India could hope to become world's ‘food superpower' through proper implementation of ICT in agriculture.

Dr Satichananda Sagola, CEO of Global Risk Hub, Bangalore, spoke about the need for establishing a digital rural information infrastructure service.

Mr Satish Babu, Secretary, GTech and resident, InApp Information Technologies, announced that GTech would organise this event annually focusing on innovations and latest technologies in agriculture.

Courtesy :TheHinduBusinessline


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