Role of hub and spoke model for ICTs in agriculture

TitleRole of hub and spoke model for ICTs in agriculture
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsAnabel NJ, Mohan P, Rajkumar R.
Start Page231
End page243
Date Published12/2018
KeywordsInformation; Hub and spoke; Village Resource Centre; Village Knowledge Centre; Knowledge; ICT; Gender; Agriculture; Extension

Small-holding farmers are in constant need of dynamic, timely, scientific information and knowledge on good agronomic practices, government entitlements, and market information, including access to early warnings, and application of new technologies, to better enhance their agricultural production. However, the inadequate proportion of agri-extension workers to farmers has left a void in providing timely agro advisories and inputs to support farming interventions. This has hindered farmers’ ability to take informed decisions for bettering their yields and income. The role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and its potential to bridge the knowledge, digital, and gender gaps in agriculture remained unexplored and such technologies were accessible only to the urban rich. In the 1990s, M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, through an interdisciplinary dialogue on ‘Reaching the Unreached: Information Technology’ evolved the concept of using ICTs to link small farmers to need-based, demand-driven information. This information village transpired as a hub and spoke model of Village Resource and Knowledge Centres connecting the knowledge seekers (farmers) with knowledge holders (researchers, government institutions, and agriculture-based Non Governmental Organizations and progressive farmers) through land–lab, lab–land, land–land, lab–land communication. This paper reviews the evolution of this model, its results on the ground and contemporary relevance.

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