Sri Lanka
Dr. Rohan Wijekoon, Deputy Director of Agriculture 

Wikigoviya, the latest ICT initiative of Cyber Agriculture Wikipedia is a participatory and interactive web tool for agriculture development in Sri Lanka. The content is comprehensive and attractive, but simple in its approach, and has an easy navigation structure. Importantly, Wikigoviya is available in both Sinhala and Tamil – the two local languages. Wikigoviya serves as a meeting place for the agriculture community of farmers, experts, academics, private sector organizations, students and the interested general public. Designed with the farmer in mind, it provides the necessary platform for disseminating and sharing agriculture information among participating groups while serving as a forum for discussing current agriculture policies and their implementation, as well as sharing experiences and ideas. A detailed agriculture crop technology guide is provided, together with multimedia applications for easier understanding. All information is presented in a very user-friendly and colloquial manner, in a jargon in which the rural farmer feels comfortable. Wikigoviya has made a difference – clearly evident from its very active forum which has 399 registered users, 79 uploaded video clips and 14 active blogs.

Jury Evaluation: 

Wikigoviya web portal has been designed with “the farmer in mind”. It provides useful information skills and allows farmers, experts, academics, students and general public interested in agriculture to share their ideas and experiences. Importantly, Wikigoviya is available in both Sinhala and Tamil – the two local languages.

 It consists of three major components: 1. Discussion Forum 2. e-Learning 3. Wikipedia on Agriculture.

The Forum works as a meeting place for the agricultural community. It allows users to share their ideas and experiences and post comments on current government policies and other issues. Crop leaders have participated to answer questions raised in the forum. The Agriculture e-Learning content is very comprehensive and interactive. It provides know-how of twentyone agriculture crops. Each title based on a crop has almost all the information such as new varieties, good agricultural practices, pest and disease management, post-harvest handling etc. Further, these cultivation and technology guides have been carefully designed with graphics to maintain simplicity and a user-friendly interface for the rural community. The E-learning contents are also available in an offline version. Agripedia - a web based encyclopaedia for Sri Lanka agriculture - has been developed using the Mediawiki tool and is updated continuously by the users.

Wikigoviya is attractive but simple in its approach and has an easy navigation structure. Much of the video and text content is presented in colloquial jargon, with which the farmer is more comfortable and can relate to. Wikigoviya has made a difference – this is clearly evident in its very active forum, uploaded video clips and active blogs. Wikigoviya gives a very good example on how ICT tools can help developments of agriculture in rural places.