Impact of ICT uses in food supply chain: a case study of Narsingdi vegetable supply chain
AuthorHuque, Md. Enamul
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Food security is always a high priority issue for the government of Bangladesh. Price instability in vegetable supply chain is a common phenomenon and is a big problem both for the retailers and for the farmers. Supply chain management using ICT tools can be beneficial for all the members of vegetable supply chain. Use of ICT tools like cell phone and internet is increasing rapidly in our country. ICT tools may be leveraged to make the vegetable supply chain more efficient and stable. All farmers have access to mobile phone. Even though a farmer doesn’t use a mobile phone personally at least one phone is available in his family which is shared by all family members. This indicates that cell phone may be a powerful tool to improve the performance of vegetable supply chain. Education and income has positive correlation with use of ICT tools. Farmers having at least high school level education and yearly income of more than 2 lakh are highly motivated to use ICT tools. The farmers should be encouraged to use ICT tools in production and marketing of vegetables as well as other agricultural products. ICT tools can help the farmers to choose the right type of vegetables to grow during different seasons, can reduce production and marketing costs and at the same time may ensure better prices for their produced vegetables. Government should take initiative to establish telephone advisory service regarding use of insecticides for vegetables. At present the farmers consult with field representatives of different insecticide companies regarding use of insecticide. But those representatives very often do not provide advices impartially, rather their advices are biased towards the products they are selling. The vegetable farmers are located in remote villages which are quite away from Upazila towns. So the agriculture extension department can’t provide face-to-face supports to the farmers. Thus telephone advisory service will be very much helpful for the vegetable farmers. Such telephone advisory service shouldn’t be limited to insecticide only. Possible areas of service may be advices regarding selection of vegetables variety, plantation procedure, use of fertilizer, methods of preservation and transportation etc.