A one-day seminar, titled `Use of Web, Social Media & Mobile Technology in Agriculture Sector for Communication, Employment and Livelihood Opportunities for Odia Farmers & Rural Youth, was held on January 7 in Bhubaneswar. The event was jointly organized by Janata Vikas Manch (JVM) in association with Sahabhagi Vikash Abhiyaan (SVA) and Nirman.
The experts present felt that the government should provide adequate infrastructure to promote digital media which the farmers in the state can use for getting connected with the local and global markets to sell their produce to get a good return on their investment in the agriculture sector.
“Marketing is a major issue for farmers. They should organize and form farmers club. The club can help individual farmer in using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) effectively for selling their produce in the market,” said Jagdish Pradhan, former member of National Farmer’s Commisssion.
An initiator of online marketing for agricultural products, specially vegetables in India, KC Mishra, Founder at e-Kuteer Rural Management Services, said, “we should take ICT to the farmers. The IT module for the farmer can be designed by living in the field through soil and seed testing. The ICT can be a powerful tool for the Odia farmers to connect, converge and collaborate not only in Odisha, but also with the global market.” However, he said, the digital divide should be abolished for a holistic development of the farmers as well as society.
Stressing on the need of digital media in agriculture sector, Nilambar Rath, an expert in modern media communication, said that the government should work to enhance mobile network and internet facility in Odisha. “The digital media can bridge the gulf between urban and rural India. It can help us in having an interactive session across the globe which will help the farmers in tapping the potential of the market,” he said.
Among others, Ashok Panda, a Communication Expert, working on the convergence of digital media with agriculture, Prakash Behera, an agriculture trained farmer, Soumya Ranjan Das, an e-Entrepreneur and Bimal Prasad, Social Workers also gave their comments on the subject.