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Dialing Up Knowledge—and Harvests

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Science  12 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5967, pp. 808
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5967.808

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Summary

From paved roads that carry crops to market to modern grain silos that reduce postharvest losses, infrastructure is critical to achieving food security. But nothing is currently having a more profound effect on farmers in the developing world than telecommunications networks. In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, for instance, the ubiquitous cell phone and expanding broadband Internet coverage are revving up an experiment called Village Knowledge Centers, the template for an ambitious initiative to help farmers boost yields by disseminating information. A similar effort has just gotten under way in India's northern neighbor, Bhutan.