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Learning to Integrate ICTs in Agriculture

In an agrarian country like Nepal, farmers’ access to proper knowledge and technology is an important criterion for sustainable food production.

Today, Information Communication and Technologies (ICTs) are ruling the modern world. However, the use of ICTs in agricultural field in Nepal is still limited. Different efforts are being made by different private sectors and governmental bodies related to agricultural development. Creation of websites and mobile apps for access to various information relating agriculture are some of the examples in application of ICTs in agriculture. In addition, different NGOs are working to enhance the advancement of ICTs in agricultural research and development.

With a focus to build agri-professionals technical capacity in interacting and collaborating to generate, access, utilize and share information to foster digital literacy and promote ICT’s integration with agriculture, a 3-day workshop on “Web and Technical Learning Bootcamp” was organized by U. S. Embassy Youth Council, jointly with Agri-Youth Nepal from 25th to 27th September, 2016 at National Maize Research Program, Chitwan, Nepal. YPARD Nepal was one among the proud collaborators of the bootcamp. The bootcamp was joined by sixty five participants comprising of government officials, researchers, academicians, undergraduates and graduates students of agriculture and veterinary science.

Along with the call for participants from organizers, YPARD Nepal announced scholarship call for deserving applicants to attend the bootcamp. It was my immense pleasure to lead a team of YPARD Nepal scholars (Dharmendra Kalauni and Kabita Poudel) as a focal person for the event. I was excited to reap a good harvest of skills and knowledge on ICTs from the bootcamp.

The bootcamp was a mixture of different technical and presentation sessions. The first day was focused mainly on Cloud Technology and Google Integrated Services. Although I have been using some of the google services, I was pretty much excited to dive into the world of Google integrated services. The second day was solely a technical day with sessions on Research on Life Sciences by Prof. Madhav Pandey, Agriculture and Forestry University; Use of ICTs in Agriculture (a case story of Ghana) by Patrick Sakyii, Monitoring and Evaluation Associate, Farmerline; Open Data, Open Access and Big Data by Dr. Sridhar Gutam, Open Access India; Social Media Marketing by Anil Regmi, CEO of Smart Krishi; Youth and ICTs for Agriculture Development in Nepal by Anish Shrestha, KrishiGhar and Blogging by Arjun Gurung. The final day had sessions on Computer Security by Anuj Sharma; Productivity and Utility Tools by Madan Poudel and Santosh Joshi and Essence of Journal Publishing by Dr. Krishna Kaphle.

The 3 days spent during the bootcamp provided an opportunity to gain good insights of knowledge on ICTs and learn about social media networking, blogging skills, data management, cloud technology, journal publishing and many more. The presentation followed up by the practical sessions and immediate workout on several sessions was the best part of the event which made learning more effective. I found the bootcamp as the perfect event to sharp and shape the skills and knowledge on use of ICTs for agricultural development for young agri-professionals.

Lastly, I am much thankful to the organizers, especially Madan Poudel for such an effective and impactful event in spite of the several constraints. My sincere thanks to YPARD Nepal representative, Dinesh Panday, for this opportunity. YPARD Nepal has always been proud to support initiatives for capacity building of young professionals for agricultural development.

Photo Credit: Bhuwan Giri