Carving Knowledge Ecosystem for Farmers using MOOCs

K.S. Oza, R.K. Kamat, S.M. Pujar


Though late than never, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is poised to transform the lives of Indian farmers. Almost a decade ago, the farmer community was deprived of the benefits of the ICT and the much discussed hype of the moment was „digital divide‟. Even the slower penetration of the internet affected the Information revolution reaching the farming community. The main hurdles the technocrats faced in inculcating ICT amongst the farming community was the massive size of most of the ICT repositories pumping down to the villages by using the dial-up lines or the low bandwidth VSATs. Moreover the information literacy as well as acquainting with the digital infrastructure was still infancy in the rural areas. Till recently owning a personal computer was a distant dream for the farmers which prohibited them to be a part of the digital revolution spreading in every nook and corner of the globe. This has definitely widened the urban-rural divide. On the top of this, the linguistic issue further played a decisive role in broadening the divide. Until recently, there was no thought applied to design specialized human-computer bilingual interface and the sense of ergonomics apt for the farming community. This eventually led to a new class of mediators which deprived the farmer community from getting the true benefits of their hard earned yield However by the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the things have changed in an exponential scale. The present article presents ICT based framework as applied to agriculture and put forths the future roadmap towards manumitting the knowledge ecosystem using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for the Indian farmers which have been neglected to a large extent.

Keywords: MOOCS, ICT, Agriculture, Farmers, online courses

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