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Initiative Helps Farmers in Rural India Using OSS

Mar 27, 2008, 17:15 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Samartha Vashishtha)

"'India is like a long snake. While its head is moving into the twenty-first century, the tail is still in the sixteenth. And there are people all over its body.' Those lines by computer guru Ed Yourdon sum up the inspiration behind Jagriti e-Sewa ('Jagriti' means 'awakening' in Punjabi and 'Sewa' means 'service'), a non-governmental organization (NGO) that uses open source technologies to bring much-needed knowledge and advice to farmers in the Indian state of Punjab.

"The model that Jagriti has adopted is strikingly simple. Kiosks or centers that provide IT-enabled services are set up in rural areas to help farmers keep abreast of the latest developments in agriculture through the Internet, give them access to experts, and organize training programs for them. Since these kiosks are franchised mostly to educated youth or ex-military men, they also create jobs..."

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