Govt to set up 254 e-agri information centres

Aiming to expand e-Krishi (e-agriculture) in rural areas, the government has taken an initiative to set up 254 ICT-driven Agriculture Information and Communication Centers (AICCs) in 254 upazilas for disseminating agricultural information among farmers, officials said.

National ICT Infra-Network for Government Phase II Project (InfoSarker) under ICT Division has chosen 254 farmers' clubs based on communications facilities, availability of electricity and clubs' own houses from 14,000 farmers' associations to turn those as ICT-based AICCs.

AICCs are expected to go into operation in December next.

As part of initiative, InfoSarker Project is going to organise a workshop at the auditorium of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) on Wednesday to build the capacity of farmers to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

“ICTs can play very important role in bridging information gaps, and that's why the government is going to set up 254 more AICCs to expand e-Krishi in rural areas,” said State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak.

The minister said agriculture is becoming increasingly knowledge-intensive and the government has been promoting ICT use to provide information to farmers, and has focused on ICT innovation for improving agricultural production and enhancing value chains.

Farmers will require increased information to make complex decisions on their land use, selection of agricultural commodities they plant, choice of markets to sell their agricultural produces and other necessary decisions that impact livelihoods of their families and society, Palak said.

He said the members of farmers' clubs will play the role of 'smart farmers' through providing agricultural information that will contribute towards boosting the country's farm output.

According to sources, with establishment of 254 AICCs by the InfoSarker Project, total number of AICCs will rise to 499 as the government earlier set up 245 AICCs.


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