Uses of ICT as a Management Tool for Livestock Extension Services in Bangladesh: A Review of Present Status and Potentials
This paper reviews the contribution of livestock in food security and livelihood improvement of farmers. The paper also reviews the uses of ICT as a management tool for livestock extension services in Bangladesh. Data on livestock resources, livestock population were reviewed from Bangladesh Economic Review. Policy information was taken from National Livestock Extension Policy prepared by Department of Livestock Services. Data related to present status and potentials of ICT tools and their uses in livestock extension services were reviewed from internet, journals and published paper. The motto of livestock extension services in Bangladesh are production oriented through the following initiatives: (i) Improvement of quality and productivity of livestock by strengthening research- extension-farmers linkages; (ii) Ensure development of animal health care services, particularly for the control of parasitic and infectious diseases; (iii) Investment assistance for expansion of marketing network for production technologies, input supply, improved technology for preservation and marketing of livestock products; (iv) Support development and expansion of technologies for the resource-poor people. ICT tools suggested to use in the institutionalization of livestock extension policy are computer, fax, phone, internet, website, e-mail. ICT tools for research-extension-farmers linkage are computer, fax, internet, website, e-mail, GPS, video conference, multimedia, CDs, TV, Radio and mobile phone. In addition, mobile phone, Radio, TV, Computer, internet, website, e-mail, multimedia and CDs could be used for advisory services on livestock farm management and health care services. The potentials of the uses of ICT tools by the livestock value chain actors are discussed. It can be concluded from the review that uses of ICT as management tools will increase the knowledge of livestock stakeholders in livestock extension services thus improve the production of milk, meat and egg for human consumption.