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UN Ag Loans Help Connect Indian Villages To Tech

UN Agriculture Loan Programme Helps Connect Indian Villages To Modern Technology
New York, May 12 2005 11:00AM

The President of the United Nations agricultural loan fund, Lennart Båge, inaugurates the hub of a knowledge centre today in Chennai that connects 10 southern Indian villages to telephones, computer, radio and community newspapers.

Mr. Båge, head of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), was also scheduled to launch a community radio station in Pillayarkuppam in Pondicherry.

Mr. Båge was then to visit tsunami-affected areas in the area, where a local foundation and foreign donors have been upgrading communications since 1998, it said.
The new media would carry information on agriculture, health care, employment opportunities, marketing techniques and new government schemes in local languages, but the centre would also offer English language courses and computer science training for children and youngsters, IFAD said.

As the project got underway, the villages got loudspeakers which broadcast weather forecasts. During the tsunami of last December, such broadcasts warned fishing communities about the hazardous ocean and saved lives, IFAD said.


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