A series of training workshops will be held in India on 18-31 March as part of an NRI-led collaborative project, Telesupport, that aims to help Indian farmers to share best practice and receive advice through internet access at village information centres. The workshop topics include 'Documenting Good Practices', 'Web-based Information Management' and 'Video Production'.
The Telesupport project, running from November 2005 to December 2006 and funded by the EU-India Economic Cross Cultural Programme, is developing and testing a model for two-way communication between rural communities in selected regions of India, and European and Indian knowledge centres and networks, in order to find solutions to local problems in agriculture and natural resources management.
"Village information centres in West Bengal and Kerala will be upgraded for internet access, and local farmers will be encouraged to share their expertise and document their work," says NRI's Telesupport project leader Dr Tim Chancellor. "Local people will also be taught how to produce videos highlighting good practice in agriculture, which could be viewed over the internet by farmers at the information centres." A panel of agricultural experts will also provide real-time answers to farmers' questions, and there will be forums for discussing farming issues.
The project's partners hope that this initiative will enable Indian farmers more easily to share their experiences and knowledge, and will help them to gain expert advice on topics ranging from soil fertility to pest management.