IFPRI - ICAAP Project to Provide Global Agricultural Advisory Services to Small and Marginal Farmers

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IFPRI - ICAAP project to provide global agricultural advisory services to small and marginal farmers

International Food Policy Research institute, Washington DC and ICAAP (IKP Centre for Advancement in Agricultural practice) joined together to establish global agricultural knowledge facility through information and communication technology (ICT) in India. The project aims to establish an interactive internet-based platform for facilitating knowledge and experience sharing between the various agri-stakeholders (including men and women farmers, extension agents, agricultural scientists, agro-industries, agri-financing institutions, policymakers and planners).

To kick start the project, being piloted in Thanjavur and Thiruvarur districts, we visited the locations to understand existing agricultural extension systems in the region, needs and demands of stakeholders in accessing scientific information through various channels. To explore the probable entry points to pilot IFPRI - ICAAP knowledge portal in the locality, we interacted with knowledge intermediaries like extension professionals, KVK (Farm science centre), agricultural research station, civil society organizations, KGFS, farmers associations and small and marginal farming community.

Agriculture scenario at Thanjavur and Thiruvarur districts

Rice and Rice fallow pulses i.e. black gram and green gram and oilseeds i.e. Gingelly, groundnut (Rainfed crop) are the dominant crops in Thanjavur and Thiruvarur districts. Most of the farmers depend on Cauvery water to meet their farming activities. In some of the areas, progressive farmers grow sugarcane and banana by using bore-well water as annual crop.

Recently, the stagnation in growth of rice productivity was noti...

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...n the new rural economy.

Knowledge intermediaries

• Extension agents and subject matter specialist in an ideal world would resemble knowledge brokers. They need to articulate the demand of farmers for knowledge, facilitate linkages between stakeholders with ideas and resources and manage the knowledge process.

• Extension worker lacks ability to handhold the stakeholders who are involved in the crop value chain and lacks relationship skills with the farming community until the end product.

IFPRI-ICAAP will join with above local stakeholders to implement the project and bring the innovative and sustainable model to provide comprehensive advisory services to the small and marginal farmers and link them with the market for profit realization.

Senthil Kumar Govindararajan, Project Coordinator, IFPRI and can be reached
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