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ICTs to solve agricultural issues in Nepal

ICT4Ag in NepalNepal belongs to one of the poor country in the world. One fourth of its total population still lives below its poverty line. Poverty is one of the major problem of our country. Agriculture is the main occupation of Nepali people, around two-third of nepal's population depends upon agriculture for their living. Agriculture sector must be enhanced and implementation of new technologies in this sector is necessary. Traditional farming methods must be modernized. “Agriculture is four times more effective at raising income among the poor than other sector."(WB) Agriculture enhancement  can help to decrease the number of people below poverty line and can increase the country's economy.

The farmers in nepal are facing various problems in agriculture sector. The farmers get inadequate information about agriculture or some even do not get any. The other problem is difficulty in finding the marketplace to sell their products. Entering into the global market for a farmer is very difficult.  The farmer also find difficulty in accessing the available resources. The remote farmer do not get advisory services or training easily. The agriculture experts, scientist, and other service providers are mostly available in the urban areas. Communicating with these experts for a farmer is difficult.

Government and many Non-government organization are working hard to address these problems. Realising the importance of enhancing the agriculture sector of our country few years ago we started researching on "How ICT can help to enhance agriculture sector?" We then formed a group and started studying about the relation between ICT and Agriculture. The result was quite positive. We found many countries in the world have implemented ICT in  agriculture. Most countries in Africa have transformed agriculture through ICT. These countries have used ICT in collecting, processing and disseminating agricultural information. We knew the importance of information in agriculture. Many country have provided training and other agricultural services through the use of modern ICT. This gave us a hope and we thought we could do the same. 
 
After a year  we were ready to do a video call program as an initiation to implement ICT in the field of agriculture. We then talked with many government officers and people. Many were positive and many said its going to happen after 10 years. Finally we convinced  two government bodies in Agriculture Information and Communication Center (AICC) harihar bhawan, Lalitpur and District Agriculture Development Office Kavre and  Dr. Bharat Poudel volunteered as an expert. Everybody was excited and waiting how the farmer would react. As the program began we gave a brief introduction on how video call works. Farmers asked question to the Experts and experts replied back live. Many people were shaking hands while sitting in front of laptop and asking questions. We could easily see technophobia among the people. Later they were comfortable and confident. 
 
We didn't expected so much positive response from the farmers. Each and every farmer was so happy to see such a new technology. They said such technology must be implemented in agriculture sector and this technology will help them to communicate with the experts easily. They said such program must be held in every VDC. Around 50 farmers were present and 99% said they wanted such program in future. This response gave us hope and opportunities. Now we have formed an organization and conduct such program in different places in Nepal. We do such program once in a month and are very happy to introduce modern ICT  to the remote farmers and make them experience and see something  they have or haven't heard of.