Interaction workshop on Using ICTs to enhance adoption of Agricultural Technologies and Innovations

CEAPRED in collaboration with University of Sydney organized an inception workshop on “Use of ICT in agricultural services”, from 20th to 21st November at Hotel Himalaya, Lalitpur. The main purpose of this workshop was to review the current status of use of ICT in agriculture in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, design the study plan to be implemented in a harmonized way in the three countries and clarify the reporting requirement and analytical tools to be used. CEAPRED being the implementing agency for Nepal component had taken the responsibility of organizing this inception workshop. The technical support team comprised scientists from University of Sydney and CIMMYT.

Executive Director, Mr. Bharat Upadhyaya, started the program with a welcome speech, where he welcomed the entire participants and expressed his happiness that the guests made it safely despite the ongoing crisis and agitations. He shared his long agricultural experience with respect to gaps in technology transfer causing technology adoption at slow pace.  He ended his speech by saying that he hopes to learn great many things in the workshop which will enhance the ICT ventures in the future.

Dr. Shyamal Chowdhury, scientist from University of Sydney, shared the background of the project intervention by explaining how adoption of sustainable cropping practices, nutrient-enriched crops, and available technologies remains a major challenge in the least developing countries. Determining the extent of use of ICT-based agriculture extension tools in the EGP being the project’s main objective, he explained the methodologies as to how the study shall be conducted. The workshop also included the country reports of India, presented by Dr. K.K. Das; Nepal by Mr. Kamal Raj Gautam and Bangladesh by Mr. Mamunur Rashid. These reports explained the agricultural prospects in these countries and the scope of ICT Extension services respectively.  Dr. Hari Krishna Upadhyaya, the chairperson of CEAPRED also showed his participation in the workshop. With a warm welcome to all, he shared his knowledge among the participants by saying, access and quality of information is what we should target in terms of ICT Development. He further stated, ICT services in Nepal are localized and right information structured and delivered at the right time is needed for up scaling of ICT services in Nepal.

After learning about the agricultural prospects and its history in all the three countries, the next half of the workshop was to learn about the outline of the survey. Within the scope of the project presented by Dr. Chowdhury, Mr. Uttam Sharma from University of Sydney briefed the participants on Quantitative Survey and how shall it be conducted. It was quiet a fruitful one, as it engaged a lot of group discussion while everyone was going through the draft paper of the quantitative survey. Similarly, another highlight of the workshop was Dr. Roy Murray Prior from Curtin University, who explained about the Qualitative Survey. After learning about the methodologies in detail, Dr. Shyamal Chowdhury gave a brief explanation on the report writing part in the concluding session of the workshop.

The two days workshop imparted the participants an additional knowledge about the ICT services in agriculture extension. It enlightened the accomplices with lots of positive energy to make this multi-country pilot project a successful one.