International Conference on Innovative Approaches for Agricultural Knowledge Management Inaugurated
New Delhi, 09 November, 2011
Knowledge and knowledge management must be leveraged for the benefit of the farming community, said Her Excellency Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India while inaugurating the International Conference on Innovative Approaches for Agricultural Knowledge Management-Global Extension Experiences (November 9-12, 2011) at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
While emphasizing the need of transfer of knowledge to farmers in an understandable and doable form, she suggested three basic considerations for knowledge management strategies. Firstly, share experiences gained in a project or extension practice to avoid duplication and reduce the repetitive cost of research or practice. Secondly, help farmers interact with scientists and agricultural experts, and explain their practical difficulties at the ground level, to enrich their knowledge base. Thirdly, ensure availability of location specific agricultural knowledge for application at the right time. Lab to the farmer journey has to be smooth flowing and timely for it to be useful and productive.
President of India also highlighted the importance of grassroots innovations in her Inaugural Address. ‘Over the past few years I have seen many grassroots innovations. It is important that these innovations can be refined and made marketable, by developing knowledge partnerships. How this can be done should be decided, I think, by Ministry of Agriculture. Traditional knowledge in farming is often good enough to meet several location specific problems of agricultural practices. How to blend traditional wisdom with modern scientific knowledge is also something that knowledge systems should look into’, she added.
She also complimented the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the National Agricultural Research System for their catalytic role in supporting the improvements in agriculture.
President conferred upon Life-Time Achievement Awards to Drs C Prasad, S N Singh, R P Singh, G Trivedi and K Narayan Gowda for their outstanding contribution in agriculture extension. Shri B V Ramesh Kumar, a progressive farmer was honored with the Prof R Dwarakinath Young Innovator Award.
Shri Sharad Pawar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, emphasized the knowledge and innovations as a major input for agriculture and suggested that efforts for knowledge sharing must be intensified to face the global changes and challenges in agriculture. ICT-based interventions are the need of hour as they provide last-mile connectivity for knowledge transfer to end-users. Speaking as Chairperson of the Inaugural Session, he called upon corporate sector to implement and support the knowledge sharing initiatives as corporate social responsibility. It will trigger higher productivity and higher income to farmers promoting the overall growth in agriculture. Public-Private partnerships can make knowledge delivery system more effective for various stakeholders in agriculture
Shri Pawar released two publications, Future Agricultural Extension and Abstracts of the Conference and presented first copies to the President of India.
Dr S Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR and Chief Patron of the Conference elaborated the various knowledge management and knowledge sharing initiatives of the ICAR which included ICT-tools, extension mechanisms and multi-institutional strategies. In an era of science based and knowledge driven agriculture, efforts are on in different forms with farmer’s first approach and quality enhancement in knowledge products, he added. Sharing of knowledge management experiences on multi-institutional platforms is important in the wake of emerging challenges which require innovative transfer of knowledge.
Dr K D Kokate, Deputy Director General (Agricultural Extension), ICAR and Chairman, Organizing Committee briefed the objectives and themes of the Conference. Agricultural extension has to be more vibrant in view of challenges as agricultural knowledge has become a key driver for agricultural growth and development, he said.
Earlier, Dr A G Sawant, President of the International Society of Extension Education welcomed dignitaries, guests and participants.
The four-day International conference is being jointly organized by the International Society of Extension Education and the ICAR with the primary objective to facilitate sharing and developing innovative knowledge management sharing for agricultural development. National and International Organizations working in the area are supporting the event. Agricultural Communication and Extension experts of the National and International Forums will discuss challenges and emerging issues with different stakeholders in the technical sessions of the Conference.
(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA)