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Proceedings of Content Development Workshop organized in the Conference Hall of College of Agriculture of G.B.Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar on21-22 September, 2010:
The Content Development Workshop of “Development and Maintenance of Rice Knowledge Management Portal” was organized on 21-22 September, 2010. The workshop was inaugurated on 21.9.10 by Dr.B.S.Bisht, Vice-Chancellor, G.B.P.U.A. & T. Pantnagar who was the Chief Guest of the function which was chaired by Dr.J.P.Pandey, Director Experiment Station. Dr.S.K.Saini Dean Agriculture honored the function as Guest of Honor while Dr.P.S.Pandey, CCPI (RKMP) and Principal Scientist, IARI represented the Consortium Partner.
Dr.S.N.Tiwari Programme Coordinator Rice welcomed the delegates after which Dr.P.S. Pandey; CCPI presented the details of Rice Knowledge Management Portal and its framework. Dr.S.K.Saini in his remark emphasized that Rice is a very important crop of Uttarakhand which is cultivated in all the 13 districts of state from an altitude of 243 to 3000 meter in a highly diverse agro-climatic condition of tarai, bhabhar and hill. He informed that the production and productivity of rainfed rice in hillwas already very low in Uttarakhand but now plain and tarai which were famous as rice bowl of the state are also reporting low productivity coupled with increased cost of production due to which majority of farmers in Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar and Dehradun are realizing that rice cultivation is not a profitable business now a days.
Dr.J.P.Pandey, Director Experiment Station informed that continuous efforts are being made by All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project to enhance the productivity of rice by developing high yielding varieties and inventing new crop production and protection technologies. But somehow the technologies are not reaching to farmers and in most part of Uttarakhand, especially in hills, traditional cultivation practices are still prevailing due to wide gap in technology generation and its dissemination. Majority of farmers of even plain, tarai and bhabhar are also not so up-to-date in cultivation of rice and most of their practices are driven by input dealers and distributors.
Dr.B.S.Bisht remarked that the knowledge on vital aspects of rice cultivation, processing and marketing is not easily accessible to farmers and the problems are more complicated in Uttarakhand as most of the rice growing areas of hills are not physically accessible to extension agencies due to lack of knowledgeable man power and highly restricted mobility in difficult terrain. The farmers of the remote areas are unable to visit research and extension institutions to solve their problems, as they are required to travel on foot for miles and miles which is not possible at most of the time. As the number of extension workers is also depleting day by day a time has come when we have to think about other alternatives for reaching directly to majority of rice growers of the state to disseminate rice knowledge to them. He further emphasized that it is not a very difficult task if we are ready to use modern information, communication and extension technologies for the transfer of knowledge. Such communication technologies like mobile telephones, internet, TV etc. have potential to deliver the knowledge directly to the farmers at much cheaper cost.
He remarked that the advancement in the field of 3G mobile phone and internet is known to everybody. Internet telephony and 3G mobiles have brought revolution in the field of communication. Every day we get so many messages through SMS which are delivered by concerned agencies at a very low cost to market their products or services. Why such messages cannot be used for delivering the knowledge about cultivation and processing technologies and marketing information to the farmers. By using picture MMS we can directly deliver the knowledge about identification and control of insect pest and diseases to the farmer. 3G mobile phones can be developed as Kisan Mobile which may be packed with all the knowledge about cultivation of rice and other crops. They can be used both for general communication as well as for solving their agricultural problems. The farmers can talk directly with expert; they will tell their problems to research scientists and experts and will get instant solution. Both farmers and experts will be face to face with each other to solve the problems. If the problem is not solved then the farmer may be automatically connected with crop specialist of the university. As such mobile phones are equipped with digital camera; the farmer may take the photographs of deficiency symptoms, insect pests and diseases and directly send them to experts for identification of problems and recommendation. All the knowledge related with rice including packages of practices for cultivation and processing may be digitized and presented in local languages at Rice Knowledge Management Portal which may be easily accessed by extension workers and farmer. The knowledge is dynamic and in such cases use of such modern information and communication technologies may deliver latest and updated technology for cultivation, processing and marketing of rice.
He advised that by using these technologies the farmers may be guided on day to day basis about cultivation and marketing of rice. They may be told about most suitable variety for their region, ways to raise the healthy nursery, recommended dosages of fertilizers, most appropriate time for application of fertilizers etc. This portal may bring a tremendous change in the transfer of technologies and will increase the production and productivity of rice in Uttarakhand.
He wished that the deliberation made in the workshop will help in the development of content of Rice Knowledge Management Portal in Hindi and local languages which will guide the farmers of Uttarakhand especially those who are cultivating rice in very remote areas and who do not have facility to contact the experts physically. He pointed out that the maintenance of Rice Knowledge Management Portal is as important as development. He desired that developers of the portal will provide all the information about crop cultivation, processing, marketing and utilization along with full contact details of crop specialists available for answering the questions of Uttarakhand farmers and will update it frequently to make it more useful. The function ended with the vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Alok Shukla, Head, Plant Physiology.
The technical session of workshop was organized in the afternoon of 21.9.10 in which Dr. P.S. Pandey; CCPI (RKMP) gave a presentation and overview of the RKMP. He emphasized the contents to be uploaded on the portal with a special reference to Uttrakhand. It was also pointed out by the house that content related to crop residue after harvest and products made from husk and other produce than grain may be added in the portal. Dr. S.C.Mani, Rice Breeder was our resource person in the workshop. Dr. Mani shared his rice experiences and location specific technology should be added in the content. Dr.S.N.Tiwari summarized the session and work being carried out by RKMP at IARI and DRR.
Second technical session was organized on 22.09.10 in which faculty members from various departments were present. In this session, Dr. S.N.Meera presented the details of RKMP and expectation from the partner institutes. He clearly highlighted about the design of contents for the portal and its related parameters. Dr.Meera answered several queries of participants and explained that hoe the system will answer the queries online. Dr.S.C.Mani and Dr. P.S.Pandey also participated in the discussion. The technical session ended with the vote of thanks proposed by Dr.Alok Shukla, Head, Plant Physiology.