The five-day National Horticultural Fair of the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, which concluded on Thursday, has boosted the confidence of scientists and policymakers as a record 16.8 lakh people participated in the event online. This is in addition to the physical attendance of about 75,000 people.
The robust online viewership during the pandemic has made scientists, agri extension experts, and policy-makers to realise that it is still possible to reach out to farmers effectively through digital platforms with the involvement Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) besides State government agencies.
These agencies had played an active role in mobilising farmers for an online interaction for the fair which had involved 271 KVKs, 900 FPOs, and 22 horticultural institutes in addition to various NGOs and farm-related organisations. It has proved wrong the belief that it is not possible to reach out to rural areas through digital platforms. Fair organising secretary V. Dhananjaya said IIHR was able to reach farmers even at hobli level through digital platform through such a network.