VASAT uses the Internet, radio and other electronic means to prepare dryland farmers for drought and to help cope with it when it occurs. A hub-and-spokes model is followed (PANTLEG 1999). A central village with road access and electricity serves as an Internet or radio transmission point to reach surrounding hamlets. Receiving systems in the hamlets may be solar or battery-powered, or simply use personal radios. Village moderators in each hamlet consult with residents to gather their information needs and relay them to the hub, which collects the needed information and transmits it back to the hamlets, expressing it in the local language and displaying it through simple media such as bullhorns and chalkboards (and over the radio).
This telecenter/radio platform can also be used for conveying learning modules, gathering and relaying drought warning information, government assistance programs, market prices, and many other valuable types of information.
Was this article helpful?