یک چهارچوب برای اجرای فناوری اطلاعات و ارتباطات در توسعه کشاورزی در هند
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18055||2007||28 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 74, Issue 4, May 2007, Pages 491–518
Knowledge is an increasingly significant factor of production in modern agriculture. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can accelerate agricultural development by facilitating knowledge management. Based on an evaluation of several ICT initiatives in rural India, a framework to guide policy and implementation of ICTs in Indian agriculture is proposed. In this framework, agricultural development is visualized from two perspectives, a rural incomes and livelihoods perspective at the farm level, and a sustainability perspective at the regional level. The implementation of ICTs is proposed in three unique institutional environments: (i) closed vertical supply chain network for agribusiness enterprises, (ii) an open chain network with dynamically evolving partners and supply chain situations for the public, non-governmental and multilateral organizations, and (iii) a spatial data services network to address natural resources management and sustainability concerns. Each environment is assessed to identify its appropriate business models centered around ICTs, required technologies, scope for up-scaling the models, and required institutional and policy initiatives. In the future, as ICT infrastructure grows and connectivity and hardware costs decline, the critical constraints are likely to be the development of appropriate policy and institutional environments for the creation and delivery of information and knowledge to the end users. Significant policy, institutional networking and capacity building initiatives will be required at various levels to overcome the constraints and effectively integrate ICTs into the agricultural development process in India.
The agriculture sector in India accounts for about 24% of its GDP, 15% of the total export earnings and employs about 56.7% of the country's workforce . It is an important source for generating demand for industrial goods and services, and rural domestic savings are a major source of resource mobilization in the national economy. The sector plays a key role in ensuring national food security, and in the process, national security as well. For these reasons, agricultural development has a strong multiplier effect across the economy. There is increasing consensus that, in a globalizing economy, a long-term economic growth agenda for India is feasible only if it has agricultural development that raises rural incomes as its central concern. Further intensification of agriculture would be required in future to meet the demands generated by the growing population and increasing incomes. This can lead to significant environmental impacts like depletion of surface and underground fresh water resources, deterioration of soil and water quality, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and even climate change. ‘Future agricultural practices will shape, perhaps irreversibly, the surface of the Earth, including its species, biogeochemistry and utility to society. Agricultural practices will determine not only the level of the future food production but also to a great extent the state of the future environment’ . Agriculture in the 21st century will therefore be an extremely diverse industry driven by the twin concerns of raising rural incomes and ensuring long-term sustainability of its natural resource base. It will involve a diversity of economic activities that affect a far wider range of stakeholders than ever before, including consumers, farmers, government, industry, and the society at large. A long and discontinuous supply chain, inadequate policy support, limited infrastructure for storage, transportation and marketing of agricultural produce, limited opportunities for value addition, and inefficient information and knowledge flows have constrained agricultural development in the past in India, and have been the principal causes for low rural incomes. The agricultural development agenda would therefore require planned interventions at all links in the agricultural supply chain—delivery of farm inputs, increasing productivities and input use efficiencies through efficient management at the farm level, lowering post-harvest losses in handling and storage, providing for storage and transportation infrastructure and for processing farm outputs into higher value foods . Every activity in this chain involves the creation, processing and communication of information. Farming will, therefore, have to be intertwined with information and communication technologies (ICTs) across the supply chain to attain targeted outcomes and impact. ICTs are a range of technologies that integrate information technology devices like personal computers with communication technologies such as telephones and telecommunication networks. Both the range of the technologies and their convergence with conventional media is expanding all the time. ICTs can become key enablers of the agri-food sector by making dynamic and real-time global level exchange of data, information and knowledge quick, interactive and easy throughout the agricultural value chain. Their effective deployment can lead to increased agricultural competitiveness through cuts in production and transaction costs, raising production efficiencies and farm incomes, conserving natural resources, and by providing more information, choice and value to stakeholders. ICTs have transformed the face of agriculture in many developed countries. Most agricultural activities in these countries are now based on the use of web-linked interactive databases for obtaining information on weather, natural resources, quantities of products demanded, credit, and government programmes, as well as technical knowledge. In fact information has become a fourth critical factor of production (land, labour and capital are the first three) in developed country agriculture. This transformation has taken place in the context of high literacy rates, well-developed infrastructure for telecommunications, roads, electricity, transportation and markets, adequate scope for value addition to processed foods, and easy access to ICTs in a supportive policy environment. In many developing countries including India, many of these conditions apply only partially. But not including ICTs in agricultural development planning can have serious negative consequences for the rural economy in a globalizing world. Understanding and implementing ICTs in developing country agriculture depends on recognizing that knowledge is an increasingly significant factor of production and that ICTs can accelerate agricultural development by facilitating knowledge management. The overriding objective of this study is to examine how ICTs can contribute to agricultural development in India by raising rural incomes while keeping the sustainability concerns in sight. Specifically, the study develops a conceptual framework that can guide policy and implementation of ICTs in agricultural development by considering the various issues from two perspectives: (i) raising rural incomes through raising agricultural productivities and efficiencies, lowering input and transaction costs, and post-harvest value addition, and (ii) ensuring sustainable development of agriculture to protect the natural resource base of agricultural production for future generations. It will be seen that the incomes perspective focuses on farm level production and marketing processes and can be addressed by both the public and private sectors through different institutional processes. It requires public support in some vital information categories, rural infrastructure, and agricultural policy initiatives in marketing and trade. The sustainable agricultural development perspective operates at the regional level as it addresses information issues related to the flow of natural resources and inputs at both farm and regional agroecosystems levels. The primary role here is for the public sector, non-government, and research and development organizations to provide for characterizing and monitoring natural resources, environmental conditions and socioeconomic impacts. Thus, the first perspective has a relatively short term and an essentially economic focus, whereas the second takes a more long-term view of sustainable agricultural development by integrating economic impacts at the farm level with the broader environmental and social impacts of agricultural development.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Agricultural development which raises rural incomes and ensures sustainability of the natural resource base of production is central to overall economic growth and development in India. Such development needs to be viewed from two perspectives: raising rural incomes and ensuring the sustainability of natural resource base of agricultural production for the growing populations and incomes. Knowledge management is critical for both perspectives. ICTs offer a wide range of opportunities for institutionalizing knowledge management in agricultural development. Their implementation needs to be addressed independently in three institutional environments—a closed vertical chain network for private agribusinesses; an open chain network model for public, non-governmental and multilateral institutions; and a national spatial data network infrastructure for access, sharing and interoperability of geographic data of natural resources and socioeconomic conditions. The closed chain and open chain models are essentially operative at the farm level to raise rural incomes, whereas the spatial data infrastructure addresses the long-term concerns of sustainable development by linking local, regional, national and global spatial data networks. The three models (closed chain, open chain, spatial data networks) require unique business models and institutional environments to be effective and need to be supported by appropriate changes in the policy environment. Connectivity, ICT infrastructure costs, content (knowledge) creation and delivery, up-scaling, policy support and institutions are critical issues for all the three models. The first two of these are likely to be less constraining in future as telecommunications infrastructure improves and connectivity and hardware costs become lower. The critical constraints at all levels are likely to be the design of appropriate content and development of institutional environments for the creation and delivery of information and knowledge to the end users in all the three types of situations. Significant policy and capacity building initiatives will be required at various levels to overcome the constraints and effectively integrate ICTs into the agricultural development process in India.