Knowledge and Skill Development using Mobile Technology for Reducing Risks among Farmers
Indian resource poor farmers face several challenges such as lack of information on soil fertility, availability of quality seeds and other inputs, dependable weather forecast linked advisories, suitable crop varieties, its management, post harvest technologies, market information, access to credits, storage facilities and management of livestock. They also lack necessary skills and essential linkages with financial, market and scientific institutions. MSSRF bridges the gap by using various modern Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), using its Village Resource and Knowledge Centre network. The VRC-VKCs disseminate locale specific and demanded information to the farmers of Tamilnadu, Pudhucherry, Maharashtra and Odisha for the past 15 years for the knowledge empowerment and sustainable development. // MSSRF connects the farming community with technical institutions such as agricultural universities, KVKs, Research institutions and individual experts to provide science based quality and timely information and conducts training and awareness programmes of topical interest to the farmers. // MSSRF forms grassroots level institutions of farmers and capacitate them for accessing technologies, government approved farm credits and market. MSSRF’s programmes such as farm schools, plant clinic, soil and water testing laboratory, phone helpline, advisories through voice and text SMS, phone in programmes, satellite and internet based video interactions to link the farmers with the farm scientists. In order to promote ‘learning by doing’, MSSRF organizes visits of farmers to the progressive farmer’s fields. // MSSRF delivers information to 100,000 farmers across 1119 villages in 4 states. MSSRF interventions have brought out notable desired changes in the farming practices, increased farm productivity and net incomes, improved Farm health and reduced expenses on inputs to our focus farmers. For example, the farmers linked with Thiruvaiyaru VRC were provided with the real time information for their produce such as paddy, banana etc. and helped the farmers to get an approximate 20-25% additional income. // Paper ID: 430
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