Academic journal article Global Media Journal

A Study on Users and Non-Users of ICT among Farming Community

Academic journal article Global Media Journal

A Study on Users and Non-Users of ICT among Farming Community

Article excerpt

Introduction

Information and communication technologies

ICT is an umbrella term that refers to a range of technologies such as internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums. The technologies used for creating, storing, processing, transmitting, displaying and sharing information in digital form through electronic media are referred to as Information and Communication Technologies. ICT is often considered as an extended synonym for Information Technology (IT), but the scope of ICT is even broader. ICT has more recently been used to describe the convergence of several technologies where in a common transmission line is used to carry very diverse data in different communication types and formats, as in merging of audiovisual, telephone and computer networks through a common cabling system.

ICT has assisted the society with vast array of communication possibilities and has created a 'global village,' in which people can communicate with others across the world. This new era is often referred to as the 'digital age' where access to the internet has become a vital development tool. But even though the digital revolution is a global phenomenon, there exist disparities between and within countries when it comes to the penetration, affordability, and performance of ICT services.

Agriculture

Agriculture was the key stimulus for the development of human civilizations and its history dates back thousands of years, and has been driven and defined by different climates, cultures, and innovations. Agriculture is the largest livelihood provider in India, more so in the vast rural areas. At the same time, farmers being on the brim of leaving agriculture sector and selling their agricultural land due to unfathomable loss are not something astonishing in our country. The economic contribution of agriculture to India's GDP is steadily declining with the country's broad-based economic growth. This is mainly because of the rapid economic growth in service, industrial and non-agricultural sectors. Still, agriculture is demographically the broadest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic fabric of India. Agricultural development and empowerment of the farming community are among our nation's foremost challenges.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) and agriculture

Internet makes it possible for farmers to gain knowledge on all aspects of technology before its adoption [1]. One of the best ways to develop agriculture is by mastering ICT knowledge and skills [2]. When India has taken significant strides in the field of agriculture through the Green, Yellow, White and Blue revolutions, now it has embarked upon a 'cyber revolution' [3]. Transfer of technology to farmers is of prime importance when it comes to agricultural development.

Indian agricultural sector is still in progress in terms of adopting itself to an industrialized and market oriented economy from a traditional farming society. ICT is an important tool to achieve national and individual goals for agricultural production and sustained rural economic viability [3]. Information and communication technologies can increase the efficiency, productivity and sustainability of agriculture sector, by helping farmer's access information easily and cheaply to improve farm operations, through e-agriculture [4].

When every sector is embracing technology to get increased production rate and reduced production cost, with great efficiency and better time management, agricultural sector too need to adopt technological innovations in farming and be better equipped to tackle the problems faced by the farming community. When farmers are vested with the responsibility to feed the world, we are vested with responsibility to arm them with technology to help them come to the forefront and do farming without being victimized to bear hurdles and loss in agriculture by letting someone else take the benefits of their toil. …

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