$100,000 Development Gateway Award Goes to India’s eChoupal

Monday, September 19, 2005

eChoupal, a program of ITC Ltd., of India, has been chosen from a group of 135 nominees as the winner of the Development Gateway Award 2005. The $100,000 award recognizes eChoupal?s impact in enabling millions of farmers in India to improve their livelihoods with access to information on growing and marketing their products. Read the What Works case study of eChoupal.

The award was presented September 16th at the Development Gateway Forum 2005 in Beijing, where ITC Chairman Y. C. Deveshwar also described eChoupal?s addition of health services to its network of Internet kiosks six months ago and announced the launch of a new educational services pilot in the coming months.

“By delivering essential healthcare and educational information, we can extend the benefits of eChoupal more deeply into the fabric of communities across India,” Mr. Deveshwar said. “And by recognizing programs like ours, the Development Gateway Foundation is spurring on the use of information technologies in communities worldwide, to build grassroots capacities and enhance the quality of life.”

Since June 2000, over 5,200 eChoupal Internet kiosks have been established to serve 3.5 million farmers in 31,000 villages. At the kiosks, farmers learn management techniques, order fertilizer and other supplies less expensively, check market prices and sell products online, with resulting increases in earnings of up to 20%.

Last year, Grameen Bank-Village Phone won the Award (then known as the Petersberg Prize) for helping women entrepreneurs start small businesses providing wireless phone service in rural areas of Bangladesh.

The Development Gateway Award 2005 is sponsored by T-Systems, of Germany. The Development Gateway Forum 2005 has been co-hosted by the Government of China, Development Gateway and the World Bank.

Source: Development Gateway Press Release (link opens in a new window)