Big Data is new Focus for Agricultural Sector
Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) hosted the seminar session titled “Smart Agriculture, Smart Future” at Digital World 2017 with support from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). On the 2nd day of the mega event, speakers highlighted the importance of use of Big Data and other modern ICT solutions to foster agricultural sector in Bangladesh. International experts shared CGIAR initiatives on use of Big Data for better crop management, planning and ensuring farmer’s benefits. Dr. Tim Krupnik, Systems Agronomist, CIMMYT and Mr. Burra Dharani Dhar, Data Scientist from CIAT shared their working experiences about remote sensing, data management and tools about to make data more available in the agriculture sector. Md. Fazle Wahid Khondaker, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Anis Ud Dowla, President, Bangladesh Seed Association, Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Director General, BARI spoke on the occasion and Md Shahid Uddin Akbar, CEO BIID moderated the session. Representatives of various government agencies, development partners, private sectors, research organizations and academician attended the session. The seminar concluded with the commitment to initiate a coordinated effort to foster use of Big Data and other ICT services in agricultural sector in Bangladesh.
-December 7, 2017 at BICC Dhaka
National Women & ICT Frontier Initiative Launching Ceremony at Bangladesh
দেশে শুরু হলো বাংলাদেশে উইমেন আইসিটি ফ্রন্টিয়ার ইনিশিয়েটিভ (ওয়াইফাই) কার্যক্রম।
-July 5, 2017 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka
The SME Club Patuakhali jointly with Patuakhali Chamber of Commerce & Industries (PCCI) will organize the Patuakhali Mung Bean Fair 2017 on April 23, 2017 at the Gymnasium, Patuakhali with the support of AVC project of USAID. The DC of Patuakhali kindly consented to join the event as Chief Guest. Ag Extension Support Activity (AESA) project of USAID will also join the fair as co-organizer. A reciepe Competition will be also organized in the fair.
Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development has been facilitating eKrishok and Nutrition Club at Sirajganj jointly with FCAB. The US Ambassador and USAID Mission Chief in Bangladesh spend the whole day to see the field activities.
Bangladesh launches the Women ICT Frontier Initiative (WIFI) with ICT Division, BCC, Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT) and Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) in partnership with UN ESCAP – APCICT as part of their flagship programme for reaching SDG Goal 5. WIFI aims to promote women’s entrepreneurship in Asia and the Pacific through enhancing capabilities of women entrepreneurs in ICT and entrepreneurship.
ICT Division and Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) jointly with associate partners have the pleasure of inviting you to the pre-launch of WIFI (Women ICT Frontier Initiative) Bangladesh, programme of UN ESCAP- APCICT.
Hon’ble State Minister, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, ICT Division has kindly consented to be the Chief Guest.
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Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) is a distinct inclusive business initiative to support development and promotion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based services. Our inclusive approach ensured serving the poor in a sustainable way through market led approach. The distinction of BIID lies in clear identification of ICT as a cross cutting development tools and create opportunities through continuous knowledge management, innovation and development.
It is BIID's vision to become the market leader in ICT for Development (ICT4D) sector providing services to both public (Government and NGOs) and private sector. Our strategic objective is Leading Through Innovation.
To realize its vision, BIID adopts following key strategies :
Applying existing knowledge (information and expertise in aid to innovate products & services for economic and social development).
Piloting/concept testing to roll-out/scale-up new/existing services.
Understanding citizens (target audience) need and national ICT based development priorities to decide among alternate investment opportunities.
Multi Stakeholder Partnership including collaborating with GoB; national and global private sector leaders in the ICT sector; and academia to leverage impact of planned initiatives, resource mobilization and utilization.
Integrate new ICT tools including mobile based solution and social media.
Constantly update and adopt environment friendly and sustainable technologies which are more suitable are relevant for target beneficiaries.
Specific emphasis on gender issues at every stage, from project development to its implementation and evaluation.
The Key Features of our Job
Research and Development
Research and Development is at the core of BIIDs approach to ICT for development. R&D services offered by BIID are aimed at development of business models, services and community outreach strategies for ICT4D initiatives in rural Bangladesh. Also BIID understands the value of R&D to facilitate innovation and create opportunity to persuade R&D based initiatives.
Although it came into being in 2008, the leadership behind BIID draws on many years of experience and exposures to ICT for Development (ICT4D) both home and abroad. BIID offers a range of consulting services that are aimed at contributing to the improvement of livelihood, business development of enterprises (SMEs) and initiatives engaged in ICT enabled knowledge based services providing both mobile and web based solutions.
Content Creation and Delivery
Useful and user friendly content is vital in delivering information services targeted for underprivileged communities as individual and entrepreneur’s. Supported by its competence in R&D, BIID specializes in facilitating development of general and location-specific content through its linkages with academic community, research organizations, private and public providers of information.
Knowledge and Skills Development
Based on its understanding of specific training needs of human resources engaged in operation of ICT4D projects and in the provision of information based service delivery mechanism, BIID offers skill development support for prospective organizations and service providers. BIID also initiated digital literacy program to build the capacity of local communities on functionality of computers to handle and manage ICT tools and basic applications efficiently.
The leadership behind BIID has developed a knowledge base on ICT4D through active participation and sharing with local and international forums & networks. BIID plans to continuously build on it by working in the field so that it can become a major contributor of knowledge to practitioners, researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders both home and abroad through capturing the lessons and sharing with relevant stakeholders.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Whenever BIID is engaged in an intervention, BIID ensures the monitoring of activities taking place and to evaluate their impact with respect to the desired aims and goals. BIID also offer M&E service on behalf of customers and partners to assess the impacts as well as future guidelines.
Clients & Partners
e-Krishok: Agricultural Information & Advisory and Market Linkage Services for Farmers
BIID's agricultural service is branded as e-Krishok, an initiative which is aimed at farmers with the desired goal of providing services from which farmers will benefit both in terms of their farming activities and opening up opportunities in new avenues which will ultimately translate into increased income for farmers.
Farmers with any problem or query or issue which is related to agriculture can go to nearby ICT enabled Information Center / Telecentres and receive the information that they are seeking.
The information usually provided to them in a timely and quick manner, so that the farmers can get on with their activities. With such timely and appropriate information, farmers will be able to maximize their economic gain; enabling them to achieve income growth through agricultural activities. e-Krishok is now in a process of transforming into a transactional service. BIID in collaboration with Grameen Phone (GP) introduced SMS/call back service via Short Code. For more details, please visit the ই-কৃষক site. Join us on Facebook.
The Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services
The Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES) strives “to increase agricultural production and the incomes of both men and women in rural areas who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.” INGENAES works with local partners to identify needs and opportunities for making improvements in their projects so that they can more effectively integrate nutrition-sensitive information and to achieve gender equality, improved household nutrition, and increased women incomes and, as a consequence, household food security.
Ultimately, these activities will not only facilitate agricultural extension systems’ ability to reach more rural women with the information they need but also improve the understanding of the nutrition and gendered consequences of choices made in agricultural production systems. INGENAES works with USAID missions, civil society organizations, farmer organizations, universities, and private sector service providers in Feed-The-Future countries. It also collaborates with agricultural extension, gender, and nutrition experts worldwide. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is the prime implementer of the project. The team also includes the University of California, Davis (UCD), the University of Florida, (UF) and Cultural Practice, LLC (CP). Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) is the implementing partner of INGENAES in Bangladesh and it is being implemented in several other countries including Nepal,Senegal and Zambia. The INGENAES components in Bangladesh include:
- Landscape Study
- Joint DAE-INGENAES Action Learning
- Nutrition Club
- Food Plate Research
- Technology Assessment Research
- Implementation of GRAST
- Gender and Nutrition in Agricultural Extension Trainings
Besides a INGENAES Regional Symposium will be held in March 2017 to share the learning and findings of the project and engage multiple stakeholders for taking forward gender and nutrition integration within agricultural extension. To know more, please the extension website. Join us on Facebook.
Farmbook Business Planning Tool
BIID introduced ‘Farmbook Business Planning Tool’ in Bangladesh under its e-Krishok service basket in 2013. It’s a field based application developed by Catholic Relief Services (CSR) to understand the cost elements, technology, quality input support services and monitoring the profits that different types of farmers gain from using technologies and linking to markets.
It is a tool to enable field agents to help farmers plan their farm businesses more effectively and evaluate their productivity and profitability. Initially, BIID piloted the service in partnership with the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) to test the solution at field through its extension officers.The application was also implemented in Baira union of Manikganj district by BIID which serves as its innovation lab. During its later phases, Farmbook has been customized for local needs and has been transformed into the following two basic components:
Business Planning Canvas (BPC): It is a tool to help farmers to learn business planning through understanding of various components of business. Farmers can perform the exercise in groups or individually and learn about areas to consider while carrying out a business. BPC can be prepared for any kind of business such as crop, dairy or fishery. Farmers can develop the canvas in a group or develop them individually for their businesses.
Profitability Calculator (PC): This is a simple tool where through which farmers can calculate income and expenditure and measure the profitability of crops. A user can enter data on costs involved such as input, labour, irrigation for crops and calculate the estimated profit at the beginning of the crop season. With the progress of production stages, they can calculate the actual costs and the actual income. Thus they have comparative analysis of the estimated and actual profits. This will help them in identifying and planning for the crop which are more profitable during the following crop season.
The two components are available on mobile based iFormBuilder platform as well as on e-Krishok app. BIID is scaling up Farmbook through its various partners which include Oxfam, VSO and CRS. To learn more, please visit the site. Join us on Facebook.
Nutrition Club is a new concept has been introduced in Bangladesh by BIID to promote nutrition awareness among communities (both urban and rural) and engage youth volunteers to spread the nutrition messages all over the country. Academic institutes or organizations, who mandate to serve the country in nutrition domain as a social cause, they are our partner to accelerate this nutrition club initiative.
The primary objective of Nutrition Cub is to provide a platform for volunteers for capacity building, knowledge dissemination and awareness building on nutrition. Nutrition Club is operating as a Franchisee network model under the supervision of BIID supported by INGENAES, USAID, where different educational institutions are operating the club activities independently but under a common mandate and goal. The Nutrition Club initiative is an approach to promote food based nutrition advocacy in Bangladesh. This approach provides an experiential learning and teaching opportunity for students in agricultural extension, nutrition and rural development. Nutrition Club is a platform for awareness building on nutrition, capacity building, and knowledge dissemination. BIID envisioned that the youth can be engaged in knowledge sharing, awareness building and catalyzing the learning process. Improving nutrition can have a significant impact on survival as well as physical and cognitive development and productivity. For more details, please visit the Nutrition Club site. Join us on Facebook.
Ground Cover App for Irrigation Scheduling
BIID is implementing the “Ground Cover App for Irrigation Scheduling” project with CIMMYT for developing a smartphone application to drive irrigation services of farmers of the southern delta of Bangladesh during the dry season.
The consortium members of the project is Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID), Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of University of Twente and Centro International de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo (CIMMYT), funded by the Food & Business Applied Research Fund of The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
The objectives of the Project is developing a user friendly app which will enable farmers to capture RGB photos of their fields/crops with off-the-shelve smartphones. The photos will be analyzed using an algorithm to estimate the percentage of ground cover. This estimates will be transmitted and integrated into an irrigation advisory system, which will notify farmers about the water requirements and also inform them about available irrigation service providers. The project is anticipated to increase food production and, hence, improve food security. In the long run, it will be an integrated service for farmers, input suppliers and buyers. Click here to download the paper and Click to download the poster.
Development of Peer-to-Peer Business Networks in Southern Delta for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)
Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) is implementing “Business Network Firm to Support the Development of Peer-to-Peer Business Networks in Southern Delta” project under the Agricultural Value Chain (AVC) program of USAID as one of the partners of DAI.
The project aims at identifying possible solution and develop a business model to strengthen the SME’s with better understanding on professional business management practices by adopting peer-to-peer networking.
The poor performance of the SME’s in South Delta is mainly attributed to lack of practicing management process while running the business. SMEs mostly practice extracting cash from businesses instead of re-investing and improving HR capacity to perform better (increased volume and profit). The objectives of the project is to development of peer-to-peer learning and networking for SMEs (wholesaler/arothdars), development of a mentoring and capacity building methodology suitable for peer-to-peer networking type structure and finding of a potential model for commercialization of such service. BIID is implementing the project in two locations of southern area of Bangladesh which are Patuakhali Sadar under Patuakhali district and Muksudpur upazilla (sub district) under Gopalganj district. Join us on Facebook.
Zero Cost EAS Model
The “Zero Cost” Extension and Advisory Service (EAS) is a model developed by BIID under the e-Krishok service basket, designed to provide agriculture information and advisory to rural farmers. It is a sustainable ICT enable information delivery mechanism through which farmers can avail information and advisory free of cost, hence the name ‘zero cost’.
SME: Online Advisory Service.
BIID launched an integrated initiative in Bangladesh to facilitate the rapid growth of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with the help of ICT in addressing their problem and providing suitable solution to them. Developing the ICT-based platform to offer information and services for the rural enterprises will be an effective strategy to enhance the competitiveness of the rural MSMEs who have, among others, need for information on new markets, better business practices, and business promotion ideas where technology can become the catalyst to help the enterprises access the same.
Empowering through new market linkages and building capacity of the MSMEs will ultimately contribute to the growth and competitiveness in this sector. MSME portal will also be focusing on the access to finance issue as well as training facilities for the MSMEs'. For more details, please visit the SME web portal.
Intel® Easy Steps: A Digital Literacy Program
Intel Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with BIID for deployment of the Intel® Easy Steps Program in Bangladesh. The Intel® Easy Steps program offers adult learners the opportunity for enhanced social and economic self sufficiency through digital literacy. The Intel Easy Steps materials use adult learning techniques to teach practical and applicable skills to people with minimum computer knowledge.
The Intel® Easy Steps program is being carried out by Intel in Asia to address the digital literacy needs of government employees, as well as adults in rural communities, women, unemployed youth, and other underserved populations. A government needs ICT-literate labor for a competitive workforce which would bring about a competitive economy. On the other hand participants have an opportunity to improve skills thus enhancing their employment prospects. The program includes instructions on running Internet searches, using email, using word processors for creating resumes and other documents, creating spreadsheets, and using multimedia tools to create brochures and posters to promote small businesses. Thus the trainees can develop literacy skills and immediately start applying them into their personal or professional lives. BIID will facilitate value added services for the trainees to end up with a job opportunity or get self employed with support from relevant stakeholders.
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Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) House No. 174, Level-2, Apt.B3, Road No. 02, Mohakhali DOHS, Dhaka- 1206Bangladesh
Phone: (+880) 2 8714169, (+880) 2 9845909
Fax: (+880) 2 8714168