Orange farmers go tech-savvy- information technology for better fruits

http://www.telegraphindia.com

Kalimpong, May 28: Terms like satellite communication (Satcom) or broadband should not be unfamiliar to orange farmers of the hills if the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) can bring them within the information communication loop.

In a bid to implement information and communication technology (ICT) in socially relevant sectors, including agriculture, the Calcutta-based C-DAC has developed certain components of multimedia based e-learning content for farmers.

A suitable system has also been created to circulate it through a data-communication mediums like Satcom or broadband.

The C-DAC recently put its prototype system to test during an online video-conferencing-based interactive session held at Cluny Agri-Horti Demonstration Farm, Pudung, about 8 km from here. The session was organised in association with Citrus Dieback Research Station (CDRS), Kalimpong, and Centre for Mountain Dynamics, Kalimpong.

“All objectives were met and the farmers reacted very positively,” A. B. Saha, the executive director of the C-DAC told The Telegraph.

The interactive video-presentation was made on two aspect of mandarin orange management: diseases and pests, and transplantation of seedlings in fields.

According to Saha, the ICT can be a useful aid to agri-horticultural expansion. “We highlighted the multimedia contents prepared on the requirement and awareness of orange growers during the monsoon season,” he said.

T. K. Sarkar, senior director, department of information technology, Union ministry of communication and information technology lauded the C-DAC and CDRS for arranging the demonstration and dissemination of a prototype system among stakeholders of mandarin orange farming in the hills. “Our department appreciates such application of IT and plans to participate in similar sessions again,” said Sarkar.

More then 56 farmers from different blocks attended the interactive session. According to them, the system may be a very effective tool to learn adoptive cultivation practices and related issues and implement them in farming.

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