For help with a story or to find an expert: 0114 225 2811
Media centre home > News > Indian farming project wins digital award

Issued:08/01/10

A project to give farmers in rural India tailored and expert advice about resolving problems with their crops has won the Manthan South Asia Digital Empowerment Award.

The Kheti system enables farmers to use mobile camera phones in remote Madhya Pradesh, India, to get tailored advice and support from agricultural advisors.

A project to give farmers in rural India tailored and expert advice about resolving problems with their crops has won the Manthan South Asia Digital Empowerment Award.

The Kheti system enables farmers to use mobile camera phones in remote Madhya Pradesh, India, to get tailored advice and support from agricultural advisors.

The system was developed by academics from Sheffield Hallam University, who worked with a farmers’ co-operative to design a software package for use on a mobile phone, allowing farmers to take pictures of particular problems and also describe what they see on an audio track.

That information is then sent to experts with local knowledge who can discuss and help to resolve the problems. 

Dr Andy Dearden, a reader at Sheffield Hallam who managed the project, said: "The Kheti system was first launched in rural India at the beginning of 2009, so winning this award is a fitting way to end the year.

Kheti project
Kheti project
Kheti project

Click to view the images

"The scheme provides the means and knowhow for farmers to receive immediate updates using modern communication. It has made a real difference to the lives of farmers in rural India.

"We are now discussing next steps for this project but are hopeful that we can make further inroads to improve communication across the third world.

"The project strengthens connections between people and their co-operative institutions by adding to knowledge through mobile phone communications.

"The reaction from farmers was great and the service proved a real benefit to them."

For press information: contact Laurie Harvey on 0114 225 2621 or at pressoffice@shu.ac.uk