Philosophy and principles
2 Saravanan, R. 2013. e-Agriculture prototype for knowledge facilitation among tribal farmers of North-East India: Innovations, impact and lessons. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension. 19 (2): 113–131.
3 World Bank. 2011. ICT in agriculture: Connecting small holders to knowledge, networks, and institutions. e-Source Book. Report no. 64605. Washington, DC, USA: The World Bank.
- Relevant content: Contextualised or farmer-specific, needs-based, timely, and quality content are the major aims of ICT-based extension and advisory services. ICTs are a tool and only help to share content; they do not generate content.
- Appropriate tools: Among a variety of ICTs, choose the formats, channels, tools, devices, and applications that best match the purpose, content, and clientele.
- Integration of methods, actors, and services: Integrating ICTs with other conventional extension methods (like farmer field schools, participatory extension, and demonstrations) and pluralistic actors (public, private and farmer-based organisations) along the value chain will create synergy in EAS.
- Information PLUS: To convince the clientele, show and tell. ICT-based information alone is not enough and needs to be combined with field demonstrations, exposure visits, group discussions, and other conventional methods. Not just advisory information, but a complete resource package across the agricultural value chain (4)needs to be provided.4 Saravanan, R. 2011. e-Arik: Using ICTs to facilitate “climate-smart agriculture” among tribal farmers of North-East India. ICTs and Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change Case Study. Manchester, UK: Centre for Development Informatics, University of Manchester.
- Human element: Development of ICT ‘champions’ to create a legacy of promoting continuous leaders and followers is important for continued commitment of the extension stakeholders to use ICTs.
- Complementarity to EAS: ICTs can play only complementary role in extension. If used appropriately, they create synergy and better impact when combined with conventional extension efforts.
- Institutionalising ICTs: Institutional policy and guidelines for use, development of ICT literacy, ensuring competency of staff, and infrastructure development should be integral parts of the institutional set-up for use of ICTs.
- Long-term and continuous engagement with ICTs: To get better outcomes, ICTs need to be integrated with conventional extension approaches for a reasonably (at least five years) long period.