IGNOU to take latest farming knowledge to remote villages

Monday, August 23, 2010

AGARTALA - The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is on a mission to reach out to farmers in remote and far-flung areas with the latest global information on farming and agriculture, a senior university official said here Monday.

“IGNOU is trying to reach people in remote areas with the latest global information in agricultural research and development,” IGNOU’s School of Agriculture (SOA) senior professor B.S. Hansra told reporters.

“For the benefit of the local farmers, including tribals, development of agricultural education and knowledge management are the important components of IGNOU,” Hansra told newspersons ahead of an international conference on ‘Agriculture Education and knowledge management.’

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar will inaugurate the three-day conference here Tuesday, where over 100 agricultural scientists, experts, delegates from India and abroad are to participate.

Organised in collaboration with the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the conference is expected to go a long way in evolving integrated strategies to achieve food security and sustainable agriculture development in India, specially in the northeast region.

Prof Hansra said: “Through training and short duration courses, IGNOU has been readying front-line workers from among the local youth and energetic people to disseminate latest information in local languages.”

IFPRI director Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere said: “In agriculture, more and more research oriented works and region-specific policy formulation are necessary.”

“To eradicate poverty, hunger and to establish a solid food security, all stakeholders should work together. Communication and dissemination of latest information are also very essential,” Asenso-Okyere said.

IFPRI’s senior research fellow Suresh Babu said: “For educating the farmers on the latest information and study outcomes, content, connectivity and capacity are indispensable and the IGNOU has all these vital capabilities.”

The main objectives of the conference are to discuss various approaches and models of agricultural education for strengthening capacity of professionals, researchers and educators, to discuss the role of effective knowledge management systems for socio-economic development of agricultural sector, to identify suitable pedagogic approaches and curriculum to educate farmers, upgrade their technical and entrepreneurial knowledge and analytical skills and to develop knowledge management strategies through cost-effective and efficient approaches, public-private-NGO partnerships, business models and delivery mechanisms.

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