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  • 1. Mobile Agro-advisory project in India: CABI & IKSL Third IAALD Africa Chapter Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa 21 – 23 May 2012 Sharbendu Banerjee, CABI South Asia-India www.cabi.org KNOWLEDGE FOR LIFE
  • 2. Agenda● Background● ICT applications in agriculture extension● Mobile telephony in agri-extension● IKSL Case Study: ● Synopsys & services ● Coverage ● Success● CABI IKSL joint program● Key Learning● Next Step; Direct2Farm
  • 3. BackgroundThe Hunger Index:● South Asia is the home to 1 billion poor people living under $2/day● 40% world’s 925 million hungry people live in China and IndiaWhat “Better Information” can do to make things “Better”● 50% Reduction in crop loss due to “correct information” through mobile phones rather than “guess work” by farmers ( ICRIER 2009)● 22% higher yield of Basmati rice because of better information through mobile. (IKSL Contract Farming project2008)
  • 4. A “Farmer’s eye view” of the agriculture knowledgelandscape
  • 5. The Bottlenecks Information: The information is held by dispersed and diversified entities; e.g. academia, businesses, service providers, farmers, governments etc; Information must be Standardized for congruity and authenticity Communication: “WYSINWYG” ; Information generated for one target audience may not make sense to other target audiences ; Information must be Re- purposed as per the target audience Technology: The “last-mile” is not friendly with many “common technologies” (e.g. Internet); Technology must be Accessible and Adoptable for the target audience
  • 6. Information Farmers wants information that is:need“Knowledge harvesting isone way to draw out andpackage tacit knowledgeto help others adapt,personalize, and apply it....Knowledge Solutions, And solve their problemsADB, 2010”
  • 7. ICTApplications inagricultureextension“Just as personal computerschanged the nature ofcommunications and informationaccess in the developed world inthe 1990s, mobile phones are nowchanging their nature worldwide..The real digital divide. TheEconomist, March 2005”
  • 8. Mobiletelephony inagriculture The landscapeextension •Rural India accounted for around 38-40% of the total Indian mobile handset sales by 2010. •in India alone, mobile value added services (mVAS) market size is estimated at USD 158 billion; which by 2015 will grow to USD 671 billion“The next wave of Telecom •For a subscriber, mobile phone is notgrowth will come from thebottom of the pyramid. For just a device to communicate, it’s amajority of the population in multipurpose tool that enables users tothe rural segment, themobile phone is the first communicate as well as providescommunication “infotainment” to themdevice..IAMAI 2008
  • 9. IFFCO KisanSanchar Synopsis & servicesLimited (IKSL) ● For profit company, formed as JV between IFFCO, Airtel & Star Global ● Operational since 2007 ● Current subscriber base over 4 million in India ● Farmers subscribe by purchasing a SIM card from Airtel (branded as Green SIM) ● Farmers also purchase some airtime (min USD 0.20) form Airtel ● Receives 5 voice messages in local dialect every day; ● 2 on crop ● 1 on animalCommunication is not ● 1 on weather/market priceabout what is said, but ● Can access local language speaking helplineabout what is heard by dialling a short code: 534351 ( normal call....NLP principle tariff payable)
  • 10. IKSL Agro-advisory service schema
  • 11. IKSL Service Coverage in India•18 States•Over 4 Million Subscribers•Over 100,000 Voice Messages delivered•Over 35,000 Farmers’ queries resolved Image Courtesy: Google Maps
  • 12. How CABI is helping IKSL CABI has been the preferred source of information for the agriculture researchers for last few decades, now CABI is going to bring its experience, expertise and enthusiasm to provide high quality actionable information to farmers to solve their day to day farming problems
  • 13. What CABI is doingCABI IKSLJoint Program Knowledge Management ● Helping IKSL in developing in-house agriculture information repository ● Content provision ( factsheets having actionable information for farmers) Content Quality Assurance: ● SOP-s and protocols ● Authenticity of information ● Content process audit for monitoring and improvement Capacity building of IKSL agentsIt is amazing what you ● Training and coachingcan achieve by ● Developing customized tools for increasingcommunicating, sharing efficiency (e.g. Web based crop healthand collaborating.... diagnosis tool to analyse farmers’ narration for understanding real issue)
  • 14. Re-purposing Knowledge ● Farmers need “actionable information”Key Learning ● Information has to re-packaged as per local context ● Voice has more reach over text as many farmers are illiterate Real-time communication through Mobile Phones ● Farm to Lab ● Lab to Farm ● Farm to Farm ● Farm to Market Mobile Technology augments conventional ExtensionEffective communication isabout twice listening to ● Using Mobiles, extension reaches farmers’ fieldsfeedback than communicating 24x7message; that’s why we have 2 ● Extension-farmer interaction becomes real-timeears and only 1 mouth.... ● Mobile network operators are finding agro- information key to their rural marketing strategy; conducive for Public Private Partnership in Agriculture
  • 15. Mobile Agro-infomediaryservice CABI DIRECT2FARM Direct2Farm is a mobile enabled agriculture infomediary Service aimed at making high quality information readily accessible to farmers, enabling them to solve their everyday farming problems by making “application of better knowledge” and by taking “informed decisions” resulting in profitable farming activity and improved livelihood.The difference betweenwhat we do and what weare capable of doingwould suffice to solvemost of the world’sproblems...MK Gandhi
  • 16. merci спасибо cảm ơn cô salamat faleminderit stuh-tee zikomo asante sana Assalamualikum urakozeありがとう kiitos thank you gracias ke itumetse tak terima kasih நனறி dhanyawaad शुििया xie-xie mersi efharistó danke благодаря 谢谢 grazie teşekkür ederim www.cabi.org KNOWLEDGE FOR LIFE