ODL for Agricultural Development and Rural Poverty Reduction

Surabhi Banerjee, Netaji Subhas Open University, India

The quintessential aim of the ODL system is to erase divides at various levels. Given the enormity and magnitude of human resources and the colossal number of villages in India, the ODL system alone has the immense potential to address as well as negotiate at first hand the problems which are engendered by economic, environmental and even social divides. The ODL system can evolve tangible mechanisms and set up innovative paradigms for agricultural development at the grass root level.

Since agricultural amelioration and rural poverty reduction are integrally interrelated

(i)The ODL system can design ICT-enabled programmes for the true empowerment of rural farmers.

(ii)The ODL system can mobilize the idea of sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Example from India: Example – COL’s lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3 Farmers), COL-ICRISAT, COL Poverty Alleviation programme; case study – NSOU, (Kalyani Green Campus ) .

(iii)As the ODL system has the inherent capacity to outreach, it can very well serve as a viable conduit for information on the current needs of farmers . Example – Village Research Project (MSSRF, Pondicherry) and e-seva projects in India.

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