Take agriculture knowledge to farmers in their language: Expert

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AGARTALA - There is enough global information available on the latest agricultural techniques and strategies, but farmers need to be educated about it in their local dialect and the techniques translated into applications, an expert said here Thursday.

Speaking at the valedictory session of the three-day ‘Agriculture Education and Knowledge Management’ conference here, IGNOU’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Latha Pillai said: “There is enough information available, only these should be translated into application and day-to-day life.”

She said: “To reach the unreached farmers with latest global information, indigenous knowledge and practices in their mother-tongue and dialect is the key intention of the world largest institution with three million students and 350 programmes, which is continuously increasing.”

The conference is organised by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in collaboration with the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

According to Dr Pillai, IGNOU has its own centres in all the eight northeastern states. The open university has established its own campus in Nagaland besides running a vocational training institution in Meghalaya capital Shillong and agricultural research institution in Tripura capital Agartala.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar Tuesday inaugurated the conference, where over 120 agricultural scientists, experts, delegates from India and abroad, including Sri Lanka, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, the US, the UK and Nairobi participated.

Over 55 research and specialists papers were presented at the conference while 14 papers were presented in the form of poster presentation in nine major themes.

IFPRI Director Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere in his concluding remarks said: “IGNOU and IFPRI along with other institutions would come more closer to work in cooperation to deal with food security and poverty eradication confronting India and the rest of the world.”

“To share knowledge between all the stake holders in the right time, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) is an essential part of the present day world,” Asenso-Okyere said.

IGNOU’s School of Agriculture (SOA) senior professor B.S. Hansra said : “As part of the university’s silver jubilee celebration this year, everyday two to three programmes are being held across India.”

“Farmers’ involvement at all levels of agriculture education and knowledge management is very crucial,” Hansra said.

Tripura Governor D.Y. Patil, who was the chief guest in Thursday’s conference, said: “Without development of agriculture India cannot be a super power. Politicians are not serious about formulating and executing a pragmatic agriculture and food policy by adopting new technologies, research outcomes and past experiences.”

Appreciating several good aspects of China, Patil said: “We have to take some drastic steps with help of the society for the overall development of agriculture.”

The conference, comprising 12 academic sessions, has also suggested that collective efforts should be undertaken between universities, research institutes, students, teachers to bring constructive changes by sharing challenges and problems.

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