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- In initial stages of communication, Govt monopoly prevailed in India.
- The Govt felt responsible for providing a mobile phone to each and every countrymen without any intention of profit. It was suppose to be a service for its people.
- The Govt started fixed line phones, wireless communication technology for defence and army along with other heavy equipments.
- We forget that the essence of communication is in the very DNA of each and every person on this earth, viz, to communicate with each other without going into frivolous parameters decided by the Society.
- It was in 1990’s that importance of “communication” dawned upon Govt. and felt that each and every person should be connected, thereby, empowering the whole nation.
- It was then Govt initiated liberalization and started opening up, thereby allowing participation and involvement of private sector.
- Human resources development is essential for food security and market integration.
Achieving sustainable agricultural development is less based on material inputs (e.g., seeds and fertilizers) than on the people involved in their use.
Hence increased knowledge, and information sharing about agricultural production via apt communication methodologies, channels and tools is of utmost importance.
But due to poor linkages between peasants and advisory services (like consultancy, business development and agricultural information services), the adoption of new agricultural technologies by farmers is often very slow.
The ineffective technology delivery systems, poor information packaging, inadequate communication systems and poor methodologies result in low agricultural production and even inflation .
(1) Poor farmers in rural areas should be linked with urban developed world to promote and enable mutual learning and generate, share and use agriculture-related technology, knowledge, skills and information.
(2) Create a system that integrates farmers, educators, researchers and the private sector (support and input services, traders) to harness knowledge and information from various sources for better farming and improved livelihoods.
(3) The specific or few application based devices would allow a farmer to know about weather, communication over VOIP, and enable him to play a game or movie. This would enable a pervasive internet usage, accelerate more inter dependent economies.
Why Should It Be Done ??
- Any “invention” is not a one time thing rather its a tool that needs to constantly evolve time and again to cater different ad-hoc tastes of people and even a “re-invention” to change how we communicate and how we think.
- With technology, we ride high on efficiencies and usability it brings along with it, less concerned about its penetration in the society and its adoption demographics.
Reality Check :
- However, this integration among rural people and extensionists has not been successful in many parts of the developing and developed world.
- Rural communication is an interactive process in which information, knowledge and skills, relevant for development should be exchanged between farmers and advisory services either personally or through media such as radio, print and IT.
- To put rural people in a position to have the necessary information for informed decision-making and the relevant skills to improve their livelihoods.
- To have a close-knit family by connecting people across developed and developing parts of the world.
- People’s participation and community mobilization
- Confidence building
- Raising awareness
- Sharing knowledge
- Changing attitudes, behaviours and
- Lifestyles (e.g., female foeticide, rapes, etc)
- Foster decision-making
- Dearth and absence of local communication providers
- A fragmented market many or individual clients
- Relatively few clients scattered over a large area
- A lack of well developed IT infrastructure and low levels of IT skills.
What Can Be done ??
- Media strategies,
- Participatory methods,
- Farmers’ or rural people’s organizations,
- Regular monitoring and evaluation,
- Capacities of service providers with a positive attitude to communicate with clients even in rustic areas.
Major policy stakeholders are:
- Ministries – design and implement communication policies (e.g., Communication, Infrastructure, Rural Development, Food and Agriculture, Science and Education),
- Media outlets – TV, radio, print, internet, either private, public or from the civil society,
- Representatives of farmers’ or rural peoples’ organisations – to collect and formulate the communication needs of their clients,
- Development organisations for policy advice and harmonisation of development interventions.