The Shillong-based North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) in association with Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set up 34 VRCs across the North-East, and proposes to set up around 50 more to bring the farmers closer to experts who can guide them in various fields.
Farmers across 10 VRCs of Assam interacted with agricultural experts who were stationed at NESAC during the ‘Farmers Virtual Congress’ as part of the 96th Indian Science Congress here on Monday.
NESAC Director P P Nageswara Rao said the VRC would serve as single window access to information for farmers across the region with respect to various problems faced by them during cultivation, marketing, health and weather dynamics.
He said, “Normally it is not possible for the farmers to interact with a galaxy of experts. The VRC network would serve this purpose.”
Once the system comes up, the farmers of the region would sit with a interpreter in front of a computer set in the VRC and would seek advise from the experts sited at the base in any part of the country.
The NESAC has collaborated with the Assam Agricultural University, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Guwahati Medical College and other institutes to fructify the advisory system.
The ISRO has funded the entire hardware, transponder time and bandwidth in the VRCs, while the local collaborators in each state like Assam Branch of Indian Tea Association (ABITA) in Assam would bear other costs like sponsoring a local coordinator.
Of the 34 VRC set up so far, 16 are in Sikkim, 8 in Nagaland and 10 across Assam. The VRC are likely to be functional by June next year, and NESAC proposes to hold one interaction with the farmers of the NE states once a week.
The agro-meteorology advisory services would be provided by the NESAC itself.
Source:“Spacemart”:http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Indian_Farmers_To_Consult_Scientists_Via_Satellite_999.html and Press Trust of India