18) Information and communication technology tools to help improve pigeonpea yield

Member of Parliament Mr APJ Reddy flanked by Dr Dileepkumar Guntuku, ICRISAT (left) and Mr A Venkateswara Reddy, MLA Devarakadra, (right) and other officials distributing bags of seed to women farmers.

Mahabubnagar, Telangana, India (20  June 2014): Three hundred pigeonpea farmers across 37 villages in India are to trial using phablets and mobile phones for the latest farming and marketing advice. This is part of a pilot on a new business model for sharing information that is a win-win for all the players along the value chain.

The pilot “Use and Sustain ICT Innovations for Pigeonpea Value Chain” was launched on 18 June by Member of Parliament Mr AP Jithender Reddy in the presence of 400 farmers including 300 women farmers.

Dr Dileepkumar Guntuku, Global Leader, Knowledge Sharing and Innovation program, ICRISAT, said, “The main objective of this project is to demonstrate the use of innovative ICT applications for improving the productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers as a sustainable business model.”

Mr APJ Reddy said, “I am happy to note that a renowned international institution like ICRISAT is working for uplifting the poor farmers in Addakal mandal of Mahabubnagar district of Telangana state.” He expressed hope that the efforts will lead to productivity enhancement of other rainfed crops like pigeonpea, chickpea, groundnut and sorghum.

ICRISAT will partner with identified farmers of district and share with them ICRISAT’s knowledge in pigeopea cultivation in addition to providing complete technology support for the pilot.

Shri A Venkateswara Reddy, MLA Devarakadra, praised the efforts of Adarsha Mahila Samaikhya and requested all officials of the state agriculture department to develop similar models in their respective mandals.

Dr Raji Reddy, Director of Extension, Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad, said, “ICRISAT is on a mission of spreading technologies like improved crop varieties and hybrids, soil conservation, integrated pests and nutrient management and use of ICT innovations. This will definitely benefit the farming community of Telangana state.”

Dr Guntuku demonstrated the use of Green Phablets and mobiles for disseminating agricultural information and showed how pico-projectors can be a useful tool in the field for educating farmers. 

Based on the results of the pilot, the project will be extended to the other mandate crops of ICRISAT viz. chickpea, groundnut, sorghum and pearl millet.


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