In Bangladesh, availability of timely and appropriate information is a big challenge due to an inefficient extension system. Farmers lack access to relevant and timely information, knowledge about new technologies, skills, practices, ways to collaborate with the market and resources to overcome these limitations. As a result, smallholders are vulnerable to crop related diseases, suffer productivity constraints and fail to take advantage of potential farming opportunities. Poor awareness and lack of understanding of the benefits of information services among farmers are also challenges.
To address these issues, the Bangladesh Institute
of ICT in Development (BIID), in collaboration with Katalyst (a multi donor development
initiative) and Grameen Phone (a leading telecom operator), launched the
e-Krishok initiative in 2008. e-Krishok aims to bridge the information gap that
exists in the agriculture sector and build awareness and capacity of farmers to
use ICT-enabled information and advisory services. BIID is also working to
demonstrate the potential of the existing mobile network to reach the last mile
and connect smallscale farmers with e-Krishok services.
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