ICT FOR AGRICULTURE

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ICT FOR AGRICULTURE by Mind Map: ICT FOR AGRICULTURE

1. 2 ICT FOR EXTENSION

1.1. 2.1 In the Philippines, the agricultural extension service has been severely emasculated by four factors:

1.1.1. abolition of the national agricultural extension system

1.1.2. decentralization or devolution of extension services

1.1.3. top-down perception of agricultural extension

1.1.4. rivalry between research and extension in the agricultural technology process

1.2. 2.2. The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Extension was abolished and replaced by the Agricultural Training Institute during the Aquino administration.

1.3. 2.3. A few years later, front-line extension workers found themselves under the payroll of provincial and municipal governments, thus subjecting their budgets and extension priorities to local political forces.

1.3.1. A dramatic shift in the attitude towards the Green Revolution of the seventies found extension workers being perceived not as change agents but as agents of the status quo.

1.3.1.1. From the significant role that they played in the seventies, extension workers have been relegated a role merely supportive to research in the agricultural technology process.

1.3.2. Two features of the agricultural extension system that were lost in decentralization and devolution were synergy and economies of scale.

1.4. 2.4. Among the casualties of the emasculation of the national agricultural extension system was agricultural information and communications

1.4.1. In a devolved structure, there was no scope for national or regional communication programs. Moreover, the devolved services just did not have the capability to launch their own localized information and communications campaigns.

1.5. 2.5. If regional agricultural extension trends are indeed not favorable to information and communications, we may still safely say that information and communications is favorable to agricultural extension. That is, the existing information and communications environment is favorable to agricultural extension.

1.6. 2.6. The existing development assistance environment is likewise most favorable for tapping information and communication technology for agricultural extension and technology transfer.

1.7. 2.7. Assuming that decentralization and devolution is an irreversible trend in developing countries, the extension service can still revive its integrity as a system and regain its synergy and economies of scale by establishing extension networks among its staff.

1.7.1. These networks should go beyond provincial groupings, extending themselves to regional or even national systems.

1.7.2. As networks, agricultural extension services can share information and communications resources, coordinate campaign activities, and conduct integrated, well-coordinated programs that extend beyond constraining local government boundaries.

1.7.3. As network members, agricultural extension workers will be able to retool themselves within given standards that they themselves will set. Appropriately, the networking tools that are required for this initiative are information and communications technologies.

2. 3 CONVERGENCE IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION

2.1. 3.1. By definition, ICT relates to convergence or the process of increasing the interface between two systems

2.2. 3.2. Convergence in agricultural extension is finding a common platform for the following systems for the sharing and re-use of knowledge:

2.2.1. research system

2.2.2. extension system

2.2.3. production system

2.2.4. marketing system

2.3. 3.3. ICT facilitates two elements critical in the Research-Extension-Farmer Interface and technology transfer process:

2.3.1. information access

2.3.2. networking

2.3.3. The storage and retrieval of research results facilitates information access while telecommunications facilitates networking.

2.4. 3.4. Modalities

2.4.1. Conventional and Digital Broadcasting

2.4.1.1. AM and FM radio, as well as VHF and UHF television remain the most cost-effective means of technology transfer in rural communities.

2.4.1.2. However, they require economies of scale. This requirement prevents conventional radio and television from being interactive or individualized.

2.4.1.3. Making audio and video products available over the World Wide Web allows the user to access these at his own time and pace and to interact with his facilitators.

2.4.1.4. Digital broadcasting allows a wider range of audio and visual stimuli for the user, greater interactivity and individualized instruction.

2.4.2. Comic Books

2.4.2.1. Among the array of print media that are available, comic books offer the best potential in technology transfer.

2.4.2.2. Localized, limited circulation comic books that would serve the requirements of devolved extension personnel are now possible though desktop publishing.

2.4.3. Community Telecenters

2.4.3.1. These can remedy the inability of rural farmers in general to have access to personal computers, VCDs, video cameras and the Internet

2.4.3.2. These may be hosted by the local government and would have facilities that may be utilized by the community.

2.4.3.3. Basic equipments needed:

2.4.3.3.1. Internet-ready PC with a printer

2.4.3.3.2. Photocopier

2.4.3.3.3. TV set

2.4.3.3.4. Sound system, eg karaoke machine

2.4.3.3.5. digital stills camera

2.4.3.3.6. cellphones, at least two

2.4.4. Using Low-End ICT

2.4.4.1. All over the world, small independent initiatives are being undertaken to employ information and communication technology in rural development. The most common of these initiatives is the actual introduction of low-end ICT (i.e., mobile phones, PCs, the World Wide Web, the Internet kiosk, and others) to impoverished communities.

2.4.5. Community Cable TV and Cable Modem Interface

2.4.5.1. This modality can be fused with the Tambuli model

2.4.5.1.1. The TAMBULI model

2.4.5.1.2. Tambuli II

2.4.6. Geographic Information System

2.4.6.1. GIS is a computer-based information system which attempts to capture, store, manipulate, analyze and display spatially referenced and associated tabular attribute data, for solving complex research, planning and management problems [Fisher and Nijkamp, 1992]

2.4.6.1.1. In other words, GIS is a system that adds a spatial dimension to traditional databases by incorporating geo-referenced data.

2.4.6.2. Applied to agricultural research, GIS then becomes a powerful tool for the analysis, interpretation, presentation, and application of research results in on-farm trials or even farmers’ fields.

2.4.6.3. It produces accurate and contextualized, visual and locational representations of relationships between climate and commodities, soil type and recommended crops, productivity and cropping patterns, nutrition and land-use, agricultural technology and poverty.

2.4.6.4. GIS provides a value-added service to research data by bringing in visual and contextual elements that serve to concretize abstract concepts. An extension worker could better appreciate research results when seen in GIS output maps. Furthermore, he could easily arrive at its implications and is better able to relay it to his farmer-clients.

3. 1 INTRODUCTION

3.1. 1.1. Food, clothing and shelter are the most basic of human needs. Agriculture produces food, raw materials for clothing, and wood by which shelter is constructed.

3.1.1. Agricultural economies have been eclipsed by industrial and information economies.

3.1.2. Nevertheless, agriculture is still considered as the primary economic sector.

3.2. 1.2. Speaking from a development-oriented point of view, agriculture is the most vital sector for ICT intervention.

3.3. 1.3. ICT4Agriculture views the agriculture sector from the technological perspective.

3.3.1. It adopts a systems view of agricultural production where research and development (R&D), extension, and farming may be regarded as subsystems of the larger agricultural system.

3.3.1.1. These subsystems have interfaces wherein information is largely exchanged. These information flows can neither be exclusively top-down nor bottom-up.

3.3.1.2. The research subsystem

3.3.1.2.1. Role of NARIs

3.3.1.2.2. Role of the farmer

3.3.1.3. The flow of information should not be compartmentalized. Interfaces should exist between:

3.3.1.3.1. the research subsystem and the farmer

3.3.1.3.2. the research subsystem and the extension subsystem

3.3.1.3.3. the extension subsystem and the farmer

3.3.1.4. Systems do not merely mean electronic networks that most information systems refer to but also to:

3.3.1.4.1. institutional networks at the agency level

3.3.1.4.2. social networks made up of extension workers, NGOs and farmers groups at the local level

3.3.1.5. Hence, agricultural information networks have electronic, institutional and social dimensions.

3.3.1.6. A Cyclic Research-Extension-Farmer Interface

4. References and photo credits

4.1. References: Flor, Alexander. ICT4D: Information and Communication Technology for Development. UP Open University. PDF version Note: This Mindmeister map is entirely based on the references cited. Except to organize the thoughts of the materials used, I did not attempt to supply any original ideas.

4.2. Photo credits note: All images used here are sourced from web, invoking fair use.

4.2.1. http://irri.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=10719:irri-and-the-philippines&lang=en

4.2.1.1. http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6190/6143367750_f812294dfc.jpg

4.2.2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmer_Field_School

4.2.2.1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FFS_Indonesia_1991.jpg

4.2.3. http://www.oxfamblogs.org/philippines/innovative-rice-growing-method-withstands-typhoons.htm

4.2.3.1. http://www.oxfamblogs.org/philippines/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Plant.jpg

4.2.4. http://irri.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=12520:more-to-rice-than-meets-the-eye&lang=en

4.2.4.1. http://irri.org/media/k2/items/cache/7123934d2984e5b6389f0e11705d2fbe_XL.jpg