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  • 1. BIG IDEAS Sustainable business models for delivering ICT agro-advisories T he latest ICT will be used to bring affordable and appropriate precision knowledge solutions and inputs to smallholder farmers. Customized agro-advisory services will be provided. This will be done by: Bringing together private and public enterprises Developing new sustainable business models Connecting the ICT platforms and the content Science with a human face www.icrisat.org November 2013
  • 2. This will lead to:  Better access to markets and market opportunities  Better management of risks (e.g. of climate, onfarm challenges and market changes)  Better on farm decision making with timely and appropriate advice and farm inputs (such as credit, seeds, pesticides and fertilizers) The problems that need addressing Publicly funded agricultural extension systems played a critical role during the green revolution leading to sweeping efforts to transform farming methods. However these systems are currently inadequate in terms of infrastructure and human resources. The need for such advisory services is still strong as there are 500 million smallholder farms worldwide and these farms produce about 80% of the food consumed in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. These farmers are typically among the poorest people and struggle with unproductive soils, poor access to water, drought, little ability to invest, high risks and more. The advancement in ICT provides an opportunity to provide agro-advisory services required and bridge the technology divide for smallholder farmers. ICT solutions are currently being implemented in developing countries. However, there has been a failure of financially sustainable business models. The Approach Setting up for sustainability is key for this initiative. The approach will include: Select crops and value chains to target Identify and engage with private and public partnerships The private sector players will be recruited on membership basis and the platform will provide them a healthy competitive environment to directly connect with the end users. The technology platforms and content development Existing proven platforms will be built into one access point. These platforms have been pilot tested by ICRISAT in 3 experimental hubs. Farmer-field-crop record database Experts database Buy and sell virtual transaction platform Credit and insurance options: Features include: - The platform supports tablet, smart phone and computers. The modules consist of a variety of information and input delivery services. such as: Soil health Crop knowledge base Improved farm management videos Develop the business model Connecting the ICT platforms that feed the web and mobile devices with the content relevant to farmers. ₋₋ Develop the integrated ICT platform ₋₋ Channel the information and knowledge through the ICT platform Promote the agro services with the smallholder farmers through the private and public partnerships. - - Report generation such as market intelligence and intelligent decision support system for improving productivity and profitability. Delivery through voice messages in 16 categories including: weather . market . crop information . government schemes . nutrition . health Local language capabilities Involvement Contact Be an investor and catalyst to developing the business model that can be implemented globally. G Dileepkumar, Global Leader, Knowledge Sharing and Innovation E-mail: G.Dileepkumar@cgiar.org Or support implementation in specific regions with customized agro-services. 2 A concept note for Ensuring nutritional security in rural India

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