Increasing Access To Agricultural Information Systems In India

Staff Writer | The Daily Meal | December 19, 2014

Imagine the innovations that could result from open source agricultural information being shared by India's estimated 800 million cell phone users. Yet despite the widespread use of mobile technology on the sub-continent, agricultural data remains inaccessible for many small-scale Indian farmers. As farming becomes more data driven and knowledge intensive, Indian farmers are seeking ways to improve their agricultural know-how through the use of technology.

On October 29-30, 2014, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), in association with CIARD, the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), and the Directorate of Knowledge Management in Agriculture, hosted the "Open Access to Agricultural Knowledge for Inclusive Growth” workshop in Hyderabad, India. Nearly 80 farmers and representatives from the public and private sector attended the workshop—a celebration of International Open Access Week. The workshop sought to engage stakeholders on ways to increase open access to agricultural information at the grassroots level and build bridges for further data sharing collaborations.

Ajit Maru, GFAR’s Rome Secretariat, began the workshop with his presentation, “Opening Data, Information and Knowledge for Agriculture Development.” The diversity of stakeholders present at the workshop was a step toward uniting previously autonomous actors advocating for increased open source agricultural information. The workshop also helped recognize gaps in rural connectivity, infrastructure, and the effective use of agricultural content...