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
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
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.