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 Thursday, January 17, 2013
Millions of smallholder farmers worldwide could improve their yields, incomes and resilience if only they had better access to appropriate information and knowledge that helps them make informed choices about farming practices.

Yet, despite new information and communication technologies (ICT), reaching out to these farmers with the right information at the right time is still a largely unmet challenge.

Using ICT to revitalize agricultural extension and education towards providing knowledge access to smallholder farmers was the subject of an international workshop held at the Infosys Campus in Hyderabad on 3-4 December.

The global consultation on Innovative ICT and Knowledge Sharing Platforms for Revitalizing Agricultural Extension and Education: Opportunities and Challenges organized by a global team led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), brought together about 60 ICT researches, extension and education experts from India, USA and Africa.

The two - day workshop was successful in laying the groundwork for the formation of a global partnership that will push the ‘knowledge to the poor’ revolution through ICT application in agricultural extension and education.

Partners from India, USA and Africa have agreed to develop tri-lateral educational programs to enhance the capacities of students, faculty members, extension agents, smallholder farmers, and various stakeholders in using ICT to promote the sharing and use of agricultural information among the poor and marginalized. To initiate this activity, a global AgED open courseware platform was launched during the workshop.

(Source: ICRISAT)