Strengthening rural information infrastructure through e-choupals
Das, Anup Kumar and Dutta, Chaitali (2004) Strengthening rural information infrastructure through e-choupals. In: 21st IASLIC National Seminar, 31 Dec 2004 - 02 Jan 2005, Kolkata, India.
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Apart from government and developmental agencies’ initiatives, rural information infrastructure develops in some parts of India through corporate initiatives. Some electronic information facilitation centers have been established to cater to the information needs of the farmers at their doorsteps in villages. One of them is e-Choupal system, conceived by the ITC Limited. It serves a dual purpose, as an Internet kiosk and as an alternative village mandi system. There are some pros and cons for this system as the company is interested in buying only those agricultural produces from the farmers, which can be processed into commodities having either a global market or a domestic market. Other agricultural produces are not covered here. Farmers get decision-making information from the information hub of an e-Choupal, and are able to decide their own. The company, having established e-Choupals in villages, recruits local youths as Sanchalaks and Samjojaks, and provides the requisite physical infrastructure for the functioning of the system.
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