MILAN - Sharing information through digital platforms and hubs is the best way to transfer useful information to peasants and farmers on how to use natural resources, take care of the environment and adapt to climate change. This idea is at the bottom of a project being developed in India, conducted thanks to the collaboration between several Indian scientific institutes and the Norwegian Institute for Bio-economy Research (NIBIO). About 25 thousand farmers are involved in the project - 28% of whom are women – and have access to information and knowledge on agricultural methods and how to best address issues related to climate. All this through the concept of sharing and exchange of expertise.
Village Knowledge Centres
These digital platforms have been named like villages of knowledge and currently create a constant network of thousands of farmers involved in the project. Nagothu Udaya Sekhar, program coordinator, explains: "Their purpose is to fill the knowledge gap, the digital divide and favour the inclusive and participatory development of rural communities. The goal is to promote equitable access to information and knowledge in a region greatly penalized by climate change. This will improve not only the economic aspect, but also the living conditions of local populations. "
The idea, say the promoters, has been so successful that stakeholders want to continue to independently support the project when the scientific part comes to a close. Confidence around the "Village Knowledge Centres" has increased to the point that farmers are now willing to tax themselves in order to keep the multi-dimensional platforms. Just to give some examples, important steps forward have been made in the management of water resources, in the preparation of the harvest season and in boosting the efficiency of irrigation systems. And the results have been beneficial not only for the individual incomes of farmers, but also for passing on information on best practices to other farmers, whose knowledge was previously full of shortcomings and backward. The next challenge will be to convey this project to the highest levels of the Indian government to make it systemic across the subcontinent.
by Alessandro Conte