Farmers to have access to pricing and market information through rural telecentres

Oct 26, 2006

HA NOI - Farmers in some of the least developed provinces in Viet Nam will now have instant access to pricing and market information through a new telecentre initiative developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Intel and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Farmers will now know what the latest prices are, be able to have the latest information on domestic and international markets and have access to the latest research and information on farming techniques. Furthermore, farmers can now use the telecentre operator to input necessary paper work online, saving time and transportation costs.

As part of a UNDP-MARD programme in public administration reform, Intel will provide 13 computer systems to 13 telecentres in ten provinces, where information on agricultural markets and pricing will be distributed throughout the community broadcast system.

“The Government’s Public Administration Reform Master Plan in 2001 signalled the way forward for public administration reforms to boost the socio-economic development of the nation,” said Mr.Bach Quoc Khang, General Secretary of MARD. “Farmers lack relevant information on subjects such as insect control, rodent and fungus devastation as well as the selling prices of agriculture products. Information on agricultural output is essential and very helpful to farmers and it is urgently needed for agriculture production reforms.”

The UNDP programme with MARD seeks to modernize state institutions, strengthen of human resources and capabilities, and streamline public finance.  This contribution from Intel will help improve MARD’s capacity to provide farmers with agricultural information services that are based on needs of farmers and will contribute to improving incomes for farmers from the farming activities.

“Accessing information technology can be a powerful force to improve the livelihoods of farming communities. It saves time and in the long run saves money,” said UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Subinay Nandy. “This Rural Telecentre project is a three-year pilot that, once successful, will be replicated to benefit the agricultural sector and improve incomes and efficiency of ordinary farmers all over the country.” 

For Intel, the project is part of its “World Ahead” programme which supports initiatives to speed access to technology and education for people in the world’s developing communities. The Intel - powered Community PC, brings technology to remote communities where issues like weather and unreliable power compromises regular computers.

“Intel actively supports efforts to provide computer technology to places where it hasn't previously been available,” said Than Trong Phuc, Country Manager, Intel Vietnam and Indochina. “Our experience shows that ICT adoption in developing nations requires much more than providing a standard PC, the technology often needs to be adapted to local usage and environment of a particular country or region. In addition to defining the platform and developing the ingredient technologies, Intel also collaborated with local hardware, software and service companies to deliver on the promise of the Community PC platform.”

The pilots will create a more in-depth understanding of the use of the ICT’s for rural development in Vietnam. The focus is particularly on agriculture extension services and local market information for farmers and institutions representing them that can help towards improved agricultural output and enhanced economic opportunities for the farmers. The pilot will also test alternative models for achieving financial sustainability for rural ICT facilities involving local participation and investment ton ensure continued benefits to the community.

Contact informationVu Kieu Linh,  PR Manager Intel Viet Nam Tel: (08) 8233372
Michael Coleman, UNDP Communications Tel: (84-4) 942-1495 x161
Nguyen Viet Lan, UNDP Communications Tel: (84-4) 942-1495 x186