Mobile phones provide agri-advisory services


In yet another groundbreaking milestone in the realm of ICT for Development (ICT4D), mobile phones now provide agri-advisory services in Uttarakhand, India. 

This was one of the experiences shared during the recent one-day stakeholder workshop in Delhi, India, on 17 September 2013. At the invitation of Reuters Market Light (RML), India, ICIMOD’s ICT4D Specialist Sushil Pandey attended the workshop. The workshop discussed various ICT4D-related issues and its role in empowering the rural communities. 

The workshop was organized by GIZ-RED (Regional Economic Development Programme in Uttarakhand) in partnership with RML. The RED-GIZ programme intends to complement the government reform policies geared towards a more inclusive growth and reducing poverty by generating income and employment, particularly for the rural and marginal groups in Uttarakhand. 

Sushil Pandey participated in the panel discussion on  ‘ICT for Rural Empowerment: Innovations in technology – diversity in content’. He spoke on the upcoming partnership with RML through Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation Development Initiative (KSLCDI) project. 

He also responded to queries on the impact of information and knowledge access across range of issues like markets, livelihoods, conservation, forest fire, etc., and highlighted the need for innovation. He stressed that the mobile phone is no longer an object of desire but an instrument of empowerment. And this empowerment primarily comes from delivery, access, and diversity of contextualized content.