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‘Policy guideline for agriculture information and commuication services’

Katalyst in partnership with Agriculture Information Service (AIS) organized a national workshop to present the ‘Policy Guideline for Agriculture Information and Communication Services on July 30, 2011 at Bangladesh Agriculture Reseach Council (BARC) auditorium.

The Guideline- a policy document catering to the content validation need of private sector content service market was jointly prepared by AIS and Katalyst.

Presently, there is an acute absence of formal or regulated method of sharing publicly and privately collected information, as well as validaton and dissimination.

The policy guideline, developed by Dr. Zahurul Karim, a renowned agricultural expert, scientist and an ex-secretary of the government, proposes a framework that will allow a transparent and structured process of forming public private partnerships for agricultural information dissemination. The guideline also suggests methods of establishing a government-endorsed content validation authority to ensure that the livelihood-related information generated by various private operators is properly scrutinized and validated. Subject to the adoption and endorsement of the government, the public and private operators will be able to share and validate agricultural information before disseminating it to the farmers

The service industry currently enjoys an emerging number of content service providers meeting the agricultural information needs of the farmers. With the guideline now in place, the private sector will be able to source government endorsed resources from a single entity, AIS, thus ensuring the uniformity and validity of the information provided to the farmers from government agencies and private sector enterprises. AIS is to approach the Ministry of Agriculture to take necessary steps to adopt and implement the policy guideline in order to ensurie approproate public-private partnerships for agricultural information dissemination.

Dr. Karim presented the policy guideline in presence of the Agriculture Secretary and other participants from relevant government agencies, private companies including telecom operators, content providers, media personalities, and farmers. Mr. C. Q. K. Mustaq Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, was present as the chief guest. Special guests were Dr. Md Rafiqul Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Science and ICT, Dr. Wais Kabir, Chairman of BARC, Mr. Markus Kupper, Acting General Manager of Katalyst, and Mr. Abu Saeed Khan, Secretary General of AMTOB. Mr Nazrul Islam, Director of AIS presided over the workshop.

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