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Journal of Global Communication
Year : 2016, Volume : 9, Issue : conf
First page : ( 35) Last page : ( 46)
Print ISSN : 0974-0600. Online ISSN : 0976-2442.

ICT Interventions in Crop Health Knowledge Management for Smallholder Farmers

Thakur Manju, Pandit Vinod, Chaudhary Malvika, Rajkumar R.

CAB International, New Delhi, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation

Online published on 29 March, 2016.

Abstract

The emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the last decade has opened new avenues in knowledge management that could play important roles in meeting the prevailing challenges related to sharing, exchanging and disseminating knowledge and technologies. The ICT-enabled services have also proved to be capable of improving capacity and livelihoods of poor smallholder farmers. One of the best ICT platforms is the use of mobile technology for exchanging information through SMS, broadband services and other android applications. It has recently been proved that the rural mobile subscriber base is growing twice as faster compared to urban subscriber base. Capitalizing new emerging technologies in the field of plant protection is important to meet new challenges in crop health management. CABI with its rich and long expertise in supporting the academia, extensionists and farmers in crop health has introduced an ICT approach under one of its flagship programme “Plantwise”. In close partnership with relevant actors, this programme supports in strengthening national plant health systems enabling countries to provide farmers with knowledge to manage crop problems through a batch of Plant Doctors who undertake training in various CABI modules on diagnosis, recommendations, etc. In an attempt to strengthen and improve its on-going activities, Plantwise is piloting e-plant clinics in different countries including India. It involves the use of mobile devices (tablets) not only deliver plant health information to farmers through SMS but also record details of visiting farmer and crops. In addition, it supports the extensionists (Plant Doctors) through access to its information tools like Plantwise Factsheets Library app and offline Knowledge Bank. The data received through e-Plant Clinics is relatively cleaner and requires significantly less processing time prior to analysis and further decision making. The geolocated data submitted can also be used in real time tracking of pests.

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