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Rural Telecentres have a big role to play in disseminating Agricultural Information to farmers. like Jan said, Telecentres need to cooperate with the extension workers and NGOs dealing Agric. Information in Nakaseke 75% of our content target the farmers.
We get content from different organizations like www.Agafax.net and market price from http://www.foodnet.cgiar.org/market/market.htm

we also work with trained farmers whom we invite to share there experience to their fellow farmers over the Community Radio
The Telecentre also collect local Agricultural Price information and the profile of the potential buyers.
Telecentres can do a lot to the farmers and always take Telecentre Songai in Benin as the best example.

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks to Balaba for adding a nice discussion.Could you please mention some recent contents for the knowledge of the learned members?
Thanks again for your contribution.
Regards,
Zainul
DR. SYD and Balaba Peter
This is an interesting topic for Telecenters
Is it only market prices and agrcultural information.

I am part of a project with ICTA assistance to make farmers learn organic agriculture through Lanka Language (Sinhala and Tamil) e learning at Telecenters. We are yet to explore young ICT savy Farmer Groups to learn commercial organic farming with the assistance of online agri content and professionals.

It's an interesting project as it combines lots of field and learning activities. However current senario in Sri Lanka is, farmers are a minor user group using Telecenters. I think the issue is mainly local language and content formats. With this new project, we wish to try facilitator assisted group learning. Then farmers require a very little ICT Knowledge to learn organic agriculture.

We found Farmers are more comfortable with MMP s than PCs?

I like to know if there are any effors on Farmers e Learning ?

Niranjan Meegammana
http://www.shilpasayura.org
Nice to hear from you Niranjan,

Many thanks for the good innovation indeed it is true that some farmers are finding difficulties in getting information on their own.

The experience has shown that farmers in Rural areas learn better by seeing and hearing.Therefore, in this case all information developers need to package their content either on video or in audio format and in the best language that community understands better.
then we shall have solved their Agricultural information needs. instead of packaging all the content in the text format.
involving farmers in the content development may also be a good approach which can stimulate their desires to search for more information.

Anyway I don't know what others have to say on this but from my own experience in the Telecentre i came to learn that some farmers don't know even what they want unless we trickle their minds.
Dear Balaba

How to take content to farmers is an important issue and a great concern. There are lot of Agriculture content intended for farmers, most of them are CD based, limited depth and interactivity to induce learning.

Farmers are eager to learn, we know it from our research. What's important is the learning process. This include

1. ICT access to content
2. Learning Sessionsvolve
3. Observation
4. Discussion
5. Practice

Navagoviya Project include all activities centered around the Telecenter and online web portal. The process invove self learning.

There are two ways to implement Farmer e-Learning for Organic Agriculture

1. Evening Sessions with a MMP presented by Learning Facilitator
2. Evening Sessions in Nenasala (TC) Network assisted by Learning Facilitator
3. Self Learning and Practice Group

One idea we have is to reach women segment - who would be encouraged to start organic agriculture at home gardens. We need to bring them to Telecenters in smaller groups.

This all presents a challange , although innovative, the social change need to take place to come to telecenters to learn organic agriculture.

This involve developing a communication brand, we are working with a popular agriculture icon in media to get the message across. I think its not the content but how we enguage rural coimmunities to learn modern agriculture at Telecenters,

This still leave a question how do we enable our local experiences to replicate globally. Telecenter then will be an important link in food chain, and sustain

I think we need to iniate network actions to get more stakeholders in
and funders to be interested in this area to direct efforts to develop AGRI TELCENTER concept

I am also visualising how agro products could be marketed through telecenters

Niranjan Meegammana
Excellent ideas I think your approach is the best and there is a lot to learn from your experience. However, the main challenges Rural Telecentre face is the language barrier especially on e- Content .

I think we need to have a workshop on content development and dissemination approach. what is your opinion on this?
Dear All
This is an excellent idea,
We need to focus on local languages to sustain telecenters as it can bring long time missed people to use TCs, leading to their increased use and there by sustainability.

Into the workshop we should get local langauge content projects for TCs to evaluate and learn from best projects to enable knowledge sharing on agri telecenters.

This will be a great opportunity to showcase innovative projects with local language agricultural context to be replicated globally.

Regards
Niranjan Meegammana
Thanks all for the very many exciting contributions. I belong to a Telecentre commonly known as Shinyalu Community Telecentre in Western Kenya and it was particularly started with an objective of expanding access to community developmental information to accelerate resource application and use among the smallholders and help increase their incomes hence employment opportunities. By this I imply that Telecentres hold the key to the productivity expected from the farmers. They need information, information that all along has been entrusted with the Agricultural officers, meteorological experts, soil experts among others. Proper information can be gathered by the Telecentres,repackaged and finally disseminated to the farmers via many channels at our disposal. Telecentres have a task for linking farmers to other farmers or experts within and without for testimonies and information sharing/ exchange,technologies among other things.Therefore for this group,we have a task of seeking ways in which Telecentres can indeed ensure proper information search, acquisition, organization and dissemination to farmers. Dissemination works well when farmers groups have been put in place, through programmes on local/ community Fm Radio stations, on farm demonstrations, and even use of newletters.The newsletters must also be done possibly both in the local content and official languages to ensure real flow of the information to all. This has worked for us and much more is envisaged.

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