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attempt by any government to address the problems of the farmers at national level. Nevertheless, the Government’s bureaucratic definitions of suicides and the causes of suicides for granting relief under the package played foul with the ground realities. Further, the government has not yet implemented the Swaminathan (a noted agricultural scientist and formerly Director of International Rice Research Institute, Philippines, Manila) Committee‘s Report on Minimum Support Prices (2006). The perennial grievance of the farmers is that they are not getting minimum support price from the government itself. The knowledge of e-marketing and e-commerce in the wider context of globalization is still elusive to the small Indian farmers and short term vegetable growers (Murthy, 2008a). Murthy (2008a, b) suggested a number of e- marketing strategies with the expanding infrastructure, telecommunications and mobile technologies in keeping with the concepts of Singhal and Rogers (2003) and the World Congress on Communication for Development (2006).

The World Congress on Communication for Development (held at Italy between Oct 25-27, 2006) identified 13 important projects, which can be executed with distinct development communication approaches and means within the organization working at distinct societal and geographic levels (2006: p7).

While dealing with “How to reduce India’s rural distress”, Daniel J Gustafson, Representative of India for Food and Agricultural Organization, wrote that, ‘….The third emerging area is promotion of experience and knowledge sharing particularly by those who historically have not participated in UN-sponsored forums. An example is the UN’s Solution Exchange initiative that connects for problem solving through e-mail groups and periodic meetings. Another example is the interaction between farmer groups in India and Kenya. Each side has complementary strengths and experience in micro-credit and in taking on agricultural improvement through group learning experiences. Putting them together opens up technical cooperation in an exciting new way. This approach also applies to work by NGOs on dry land agriculture in the Deccan Plateau and a new South Asian partnership with National Dairy Development Board for pro-poor livestock development” (Daniel J Gustafson: 2006).

The present study, aims at exploring some alternative designs and strategies at low cost through convergent mobile technologies that go a long way in supporting the farmers to address some of their problems—crop failures, debt traps, efficient planning and marketing, etc. The present paper thus aligns itself with the participatory model (Freire, P: 1983, Mefalopulos P, 2005) which otherwise broadens the diffusion model (Rogers, E.M, 1962, 1976) and encompasses all the four laterals of the Communication for development.

TWIN TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS—A PREREQUISITE

In order for achieving the sustainable economic transformation in rural India a combination of telecommunications (including satellite services) with electrification of Indian villages (with appropriate power supply) is an important pre-requisite (MSERVE INDIA, Aug 1-2, 2007)

Complete Rural Electrification by 2012

As of now India is still a power

deficit

country.

Recently

Government

of

India

(http://www.i4donline.net/nov07/contentasp) under 11th plan, tried to push forward the electrification of rural India under Rajiv Gandhi Grammeena Vidutikaran Yojana (RGGVY). The plan envisaged complete rural electrification of India by 2012 in order to provide power on demand in any village of India. However, out of the 120,000 villages so far 40,000 villages were

provided with the power. Under the new scheme habitations with a population of 100 even be provided with the power.(Sujay M, 2008) Earlier this limit was 300 people per hamlet.

would It is

also mandated that all such villages, which are brought under provided an uninterrupted power supply for minimum 6-8 hours a

RGGVY scheme, would be day. Further free connection

would

be

provided

for

the

families

under

the

Below

Poverty

Line

(BPL)

with

an

income

limit

of

Rs

3

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