Media & ICT in Agriculture

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As in the global trend media and information and communication technologies have great impact in Sri Lankan agriculture sector. The media and ICT have great role in disseminating agricultural information up to rural community the island. Further, it is identified as a great medium to send agriculture information in timely manner to the nook and corner of the country. For example Department of Agriculture has given important for media and ICT in Agriculture.

Media programmes

TV Programmes

Our Weekly television programmes.

Programme Channel Medium Days Time
Mihikatha Dinuwo National Television Sinhala Friday 6.45 PM
Govibimata Arunalu National Television Sinhala Sunday 6.30 PM

"Govibimata Arunalu (Light of dawn for Farm Land) " & "Mihikatha Dinuwo (Victors of the Earth)" are available for sale at the Audio Visual Centre, Gannoruwa, Peradeniya.

  • Blank VHS video cassett/CD or DVD must be provided.
  • Rs 5/= per minute will be charged.

ICT initiatives

Cyber Extension

Cyber extension is an agricultural information exchange mechanism over cyber space, the imaginary space behind the interconnected computer networks through telecommunication means. It utilizes the power of networks, computer communications and interactive multimedia to facilitate information sharing mechanism.

File:ICT1.jpg

Methodology

Considering the limitations in the original online cyber extension mechanism, which depends on telecommunications facility, the project was implemented in two phases. Phase I An alternative approach: Digital / Wireless extension strategies Phase II Real cyber extension with internet and telecommunication facility.

Phase I

An Alternative Approach to Cyber Extension: Digital/ Wireless Extension Strategies In this phase, Cyber Extension Units (Rural Agriculture Knowledge Centres) were established at selected Agriculture Instructors' (AIs) offices at Agrarian Service Centres. Initially, CARP funded for fifteen Cyber units and later increased up to twenty three. Rice Granary Area Programme (GAP) with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines funded for another twenty two and the total has now increased to 45 units, scattered all most all districts. Each cyber extension unit comprises a high-end multimedia computers, digital camera, laser printer, Scanner and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit. The Cyber Unit is managed by the Agriculture Instructor (AI) and continuous computer training programs have been conducted at the AVC to improve computer skills of the AI. In this phase, multimedia e-learning strategies were implemented with the use of interactive Multimedia CD- ROMs (IMM CD-ROMs).

Interactive Multimedia CD-ROMs A stand alone computer application distributed with CD-ROMs, with a range of media elements such as graphics, photos, text, illustrations, animations, sounds and video, presented in a user interface where users have some control to select, what information is presented and when.

Digital Extension Strategy 1

Use of IMM CD-ROMs as Information Database in Various Agriculture Crops e-leaning strategies have been introduced to cyber units by using IMM CD-ROMs on agriculture subjects. Objective of using IMM CDs as ICT strategy was to provide farmers with relevant agricultural content in an aesthetically pleasing and entertaining environment. Extension workers can use IMM CD-ROMs on agriculture, as a teaching tool (audio visual aid). Farmers also can use the CD-ROMs as a self-learning package. Farmers trained on use of information technologies in agriculture, will become 'e-farmer'. The extension workers will become 'e-extensionist'. The AVC of the DOA has already completed thirty three IMM CDs are distributed to Cyber extension units. Each CDROM was developed with the assistance of a senior Research Officer of the subject, a Research Assistant and team of multimedia designers of the Audio Visual Centre of the DOA. In addition to technical information on each crop, organized under several chapters a separate chapter was devoted for compiling database on research papers and articles published by local authors in local and foreign journals. Each CD has a separate link for video films pertaining to each crop, which were produced and telecast through Mihikatha Dinuwo (weekly television program of the DOA) by the Audio Visual centre.

Digital Extension Strategy 2

Use of Interactive Multimedia to Develop low cost Audio Visual Aids Extension and training are inevitable in transferring technical know-how to farmers and most of these trainings are not supported with better quality audio visual media. Therefore, a CDROM to develop presentation skills (especially flipchart skills) of Agriculture Instructors was developed and given to all Cyber units. As a consequence, extension workers were able to produce low cost audio visual aids at their door step with locally available material (Hi-tech to improve low cost instructional media). Interface and Navigational Design of CD-ROMs CD-ROMs were produced for extension workers as well as farmers, where few of the potential users were expected to have had much previous exposure to such technologies. Considering the low computer literacy of extension workers as well as farmers, a familiar concept for the interface was used; an electronic book. Similar to reading an analogue book. Page turn is facilitated by two icons; 'Next' (to go next page) and 'Previous' (to go previous page). The contents were organized into chapters, topics and sub-topics. Most of the pages contain variety of multimedia presentations (video, sound /voice-overs, animations, graphics and text). All media are interactive and users may review and/or skip section, as they desire. Each page is printable and farmers will be able to get a print.

Digital Extension Strategy 3

New dimension for Web Based (Internet) Delivery Mechanism with CD ROMs The DOA has setup the web of www.agridept.gov.lk to serve farmers as well as the general public. The website, presents most of the agriculture related information as well as agricultural statistics, news, recently published books etc. The Cyber extension project has established a mechanism to distribute DOA web to Cyber units.

Digital Extension Strategy 4

Develop Digital Training Material (Audio Visual Aids) for Local Extension and Training The most of the farmers problems, reported in the recent past were location specific. In certain circumstances IMM CDs produced by the National Centre would not give answers for their location specific problems. Therefore, extensionist attached to Govijana kendraya, were able to produce their own 'Power Point' presentations and desktop publications by using the facility of Cyber extension unit for their extension training at local level. They were also asked to compile a visual database of local problems in each season and there by researchers would be able to investigate the history of local problems.

Phase II

After considering the development in telecommunication facility and rapidly grown dynamic e-government situation in Sri Lanka, a maximum utilization of original on-line Cyber extension was implemented in November 2006. CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and Internet facility were provided to all forty five Cyber units of the project. The sustainability of agriculture sector can be improved by better information on knowledge of supply, demand, knowledge of buyer requirements and the prices. Pre-seasonal planning will help the country to avoid over production and ultimate low prices. Considering the importance of these information, a farmer database (name of the farmer, type of crop, extent, expected yield etc.) was introduced to the network of information repository of the DOA web site in early 2007. This initiative will be an attempt to solve marketing problems of the farmer as direct link will be established between the farmer and the whole sale buyer, both local and foreign, without middlemen. The regular updating database will also give policy makers a clear insight of availability of crop at a given time, which helps them for export/import decision making.

Interactive Multimedia CD-ROM

A stand alone computer application distributed with CD-ROMs, with a range of media elements such as graphics, photos, text, illustrations, animations, sounds and video, presented in a user interface where users have some control to select, what information is presented and when.

File:ICT2.jpg

Each CD-ROM was developed with the assistance of a senior Research Officer of the subject, a Research Assistant and team of multimedia designers of the Audio Visual Centre of the DOA.

In addition to technical information on each crop, organized under several chapters a separate chapter was devoted for compiling database on research papers and articles published by local authors in local and foreign journals. Each CD has a separate link for video films pertaining to each crop, which were produced and telecast through Mihikatha Dinuwo (weekly television program of the Department of Agriculture) by the Audio Visual centre.

Interface and Navigational Design of CD-ROMs CD-ROMs were produced for extension workers as well as farmers, where few of the potential users were expected to have had much previous exposure to such technologies. Considering the low computer literacy of extension workers as well as farmers, a familiar concept for the interface was used; an electronic book. Similar to reading an analogue book. Page turn is facilitated by two icons; 'Next' (to go next page) and 'Previous' (to go previous page). The contents were organized into chapters, topics and sub-topics. Most of the pages contain variety of multimedia presentations (video, sound, animations, graphics and text). All media are interactive and users may review and/or skip section, as they desire. Each page is printable and farmers will be able to get a print.

Sinhala

  1. Paddy Cultivation
  2. Brinjal Cultivation
  3. Tomato Cultivation
  4. Chilli Cultivation
  5. Big Onion Cultivation
  6. Red Onion Cultivation
  7. Potato Cultivation
  8. Bean Cultivation
  9. Banana Cultivation
  10. Papaw Cultivation
  11. Maize Cultivation
  12. Anthurium Cultivation
  13. Orchid Cultivation
  14. Gerbera Cultivation
  15. Betel Cultivation
  16. Mushroom Cultivation I
  17. Mushroom Cultivation II
  18. Flip Chart
  19. Microirrgation
  20. Jack Cultivation
  21. Leafy Vegetables
  22. Thibbatu Cultivation
  23. Cucurbitaceous Crops
  24. Coconut Cultivation
  25. Forages
  26. Protected Agriculture
  27. Soil Conservation
  28. Citrus Cultivation
  29. Pulses
  30. Coconut Cultivation 2
  31. Underutilized Fruit Crops
  32. Vegetable Insects Pest

Tamil

  1. Paddy Cultivation
  2. Brinjal Cultivation
  3. Papaw Cultivation
  4. Red Onion Cultivation
  5. Big Onion Cultivation
  6. Tomato

English

  1. Anthurium Story
  2. Vegetable Insects Pest
  3. Royal Botanic Garden

Publications

  1. Crop recommendations for grama niladhari divisions Bee keeping for honey production
  2. Bee keeping
  3. Rice Congress 1990
  4. Seed potato from true seeds
  5. Big onion production
  6. List of recommended pesticides 1997
  7. Tropical fruits of Sri Lanka
  8. Krushi magazine
  9. Agro-ecological map of Sri Lanka (Large)
  10. Home gardening
  11. Rambutan
  12. Mangoostein
  13. Self seed paddy production
  14. Diseases of paddy
  15. Recommended paddy varieties
  16. Mushroom production
  17. Passion fruit cultivation
  18. Pineapple cultivation
  19. Rice congress 2000
  20. Fifty years of Research, 1950-2000
  21. Up country Floriculture
  22. Department of agriculture at the turn of the century
  23. Disease and pest of Banana cultivation
  24. Avocado cultivation
  25. Guava cultivation
  26. Papaw cultivation
  27. Water melon cultivation
  28. Pomegranate cultivation
  29. Wood apple cultivation
  30. Govikam Sangarava magazine
  31. Govikam Sangarava magazine (New Edition)
  32. Dwarf Amberella cultivation
  33. Seed storage
  34. Guidelines to increase paddy yield
  35. Production of certified seed paddy
  36. Fertilizer recommendations for paddy (1998)
  37. Guidelines for tree planting
  38. Use of organic manure
  39. Nutrition
  40. Govikkam Sangarava magazine (39/2, )
  41. Agricultural technology – subject matter Vol. 1
  42. Preparation of insect collection
  43. Recommended field crop varieties
  44. Identification of insect pests of Sri Lankan fruit crops and their control
  45. Banana cultivation
  46. Chillie cultivation
  47. Mango production
  48. Orange and Mandarin
  49. Kamatholil Villakkam magazine
  50. Kamatholil Villakkam magazine (New Edition)
  51. Cost of caltivation of Agricultural Crops 2003/04 AgStat 2005