eSagu is an IT-based personalized agro-advisory system. It allows the formulation and dissemination of personalized advices without the need of the agricultural experts visiting each one of the farms benefiting from the program. Plus then that, coordinators (literate farmers trained to use the system) assure the cultural link between agricultural experts and farmers of their villages, facilitating advice appropriation.
The system is composed of five elements : farmers, coordinators, agricultural experts, agricultural information system, and communication system. Several farms are assigned to each coordinator. Farmers register into the system by supplying relevant information about their farms (soil data, water resources, capital availability, etc.), these pieces of information are introduced in the system by the coordinator.
Once farmers are registered, the system functions as follows :
The coordinator is a fundamental link of the system : he/she assures the contact with the ground not only for collecting information but also to disseminate the advices. Plus then that, he/she facilitates advice appropriation by explaining them in the farmer’s language. Independently of the technical advices’ relevance, if they were not translated into the local language and decoded in comprehensible terms to farmers, they wouldn’t give the fruits intended : concrete productivity growth in small-scale farms.
If the eSagu system is successful nowadays in a specific rural region in India, it’s because it allies agronomical expertise in technical advices’ preparation, methodological innovation in the communication between experts and farmers (notably using ICT) and sensibility to local context to foster message appropriation. A more profound analysis of the relationships between players of the system would be necessary to evaluate its applicability in other regions and contexts.
For further information : http://www.esagu.in/esagu