To break the digital divide in rural areas and support the smallholder farmers in Tulatoli village located at Ukhiya, a special visit by the Honorable State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Minister, Mr Zunaid Ahmed Palak, was organised on July 15, 2022, by the Aspire to Innovate (a2i) of the ICTD and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
Smallholder farmers connected with FAO’s digital village initiative can receive various e-services from government and private actors. It can also serve as an information exchange and knowledge-sharing platform between farmers, groups, and communities. With further transformation, it can be an entry point for digitalisation, employment generation, including youth male and female, modernisation of agriculture, and income generation.
In total, there are 60 DVCs across Barishal, Rangpur, and Cox’s Bazar. Producer organisations are operating these DVCs and maintain 57 Virtual call centres to aggregate produce for collective marketing and facilitate bulk procurement of agricultural inputs. These Digital Villages promote 23 digital agriculture applications developed or supported by the government and provide rural farmers with digital literacy training to take advantage of new opportunities. Digitising the agricultural value chains, especially for small-scale producers, requires business acumen; FAO claims to provide a full range of support in this area – from production to distribution.