CABI India plans to build digital repository on agriculture

CABI India plans to build digital repository on agriculture

New Delhi: Amid poor reach of farm technology from lab to land, CABI India, not-for-profit organisation working on agriculture and environment issues, plans to build a digital repository on agriculture which can be easily accessed to solve farmers’ problems.

“At present, many innovations of agri-scientists remain unused in the farm lands because the knowledge is incomprehensible by poor and illiterate farmers. To bridge this gap, we are envisaging a project to develop a unified digital repository, which can be used for extension work," CABI India country director R K Khetarpal told PTI.

The proposed project ‘Direct to Farm´ will create a repository on agricultural issues repackaged in a simplified form for direct use to farmers in South Asia, he said.

Those involved in agriculture - farmers, extension workers, NGOs and the government - will benefit from the knowledge bank, he added.

Khertarpal said that CABI India, an Indian arm of century old UK-based CABI International, is in talks with IBM, Yes Bank, Gate Foundation, International Fund for Agriculture Development among other organisations for partnership.

Sharbendu Banerjee, who is working on the project, said, “Besides CABI’s own extensive agri-content, the data from partnering organisations will also be collated to make the repository work successful as extension information."

He said that the repository work is likely to start in early 2011 and the data would be delivered via different technologies like mobile and speaking website to farmers.

Already, CABI India is providing agri-content service to IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd (IKSL), which delivers voice agro-advisory via mobiles to illiterate farmers.