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Roundtable discussion with Prothom Alo, strengthens the role of ICT in agricultural extension

Prothom Alo organised a roundtable session facilitated by Katalyst about ‘The role of ICT in Agricultural Extension’ on 7 June 2015 at the premises of Prothom Alo.
The objective of the roundtable discussion is to promote and enhance local reflection on the role of ICT to benefit farmers with relevant agricultural information and services.
Participants at the roundtable identified that reliable and timely agriculture based information can help farmers to protect themselves from potential losses, reduce costs and enjoy higher yields, resulting in increased income. Farmers require different agricultural information in different periods of a crop cycle, starting from pre-sowing to selling. Thus relevant and timely information addressing the need of farmers can help farmers in relevant decision making which in turn helps them to increase their income. Here, ICT tools can act as a complementary channel to disseminate agricultural information to the farmers. Private sectors agreed that designing effective mechanisms of dissemination that is understandable to the farmers are more challenging. Traditionally farmers preferred to rely on Sub Assistance Agriculture Officers (SAAOs). The major recommendation came from the discussion of how Govt. agencies and Private sectors can jointly intervene to disseminate correct information to the farmers in their languages, using the mode of voices through agro-helplines. This roundtable helped the relevant ICT service providers to establish better linkage with relevant government agencies and private companies in the agricultural sector.
11 participants attended as panelists at the roundtable session that includes, Mr. Jalal Hossain, Head of Business Strategy and Strategic Projects and Ms. Nujhat Jannatun Nayeem, Senior Executive, Infrastructure Business, From Banglalink; Mohammad Muntasir Hossain, General Manager, VAS and Digital Services, and Sumaiya Sadia Raihan, Lead Specialist, VAS and Digital Services from Grameenphone; Mr. Remizius Remi, Head of Technical, from Win Miaki and Ms. Kashfia Ahmed, Head of Content, from Win Incorporate; Dr. Md. Moqbul Hossain, Project Director, Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI), Sheikh Hamayet Hossain, Director, Field Services, Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Dr. Md. Jahangir Alam, Deputy Director, Mass Communication, Agriculture Information Services (AIS); Nafia Hussain, Manager and Mohammad Sakib Khaled, Business Consultant, Katalyst. Mr. Abdul Quayum, Associate Editor, from Prothom Alo, was present as Moderator.

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