Intel’s Chairman, Government of China Showcase Progress in Rural Technology Initiative
Localized PC, Internet Content, Training Programs to Help China’s Farmers Prosper
YAOJIA VILLAGE, Henan Province, China.- Yao Shuxin, one of 800 million farmers in China, is leading his village’s efforts to transform the mainstay small business in China’s agricultural Xuchang district — growing flowers and plants. How? By participating in a pilot program co-sponsored by China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII) and Intel Corporation. A key aspect of the government’s rural initiative in China, the project aims to help farmers such as Shuxin prosper by making technology more available to them for trading their products.
“Computers help me exchange information about plants with my customers rapidly and accurately,” said Shuxin, who grows flowers and plants in Yanling County, Henan Province, where the average annual income for farmers is roughly ¥3,261 (about $429 in U.S. dollars). “This information helps to increase our income, so we can improve our standard of living. The transformation of our trading model is the most important change in our lives.”
“Our alliance with Intel is already helping us toward our goal of increasing the use of technology to create economic growth in rural areas,” said Gou Zhong Wen, deputy minister, Ministry of Information and Industry. “The 300 farmers participating in this rural PC project in the Henan province are already trading their crops online to reach additional customers.”
Intel Chairman Craig Barrett saw the effects firsthand today during a visit to YaoJia village, where he launched a new PC platform designed to promote digital literacy. True to the prototype Barrett demonstrated during his trip to China last October, the Haier Farmer PC is a desktop computer with built-in features to suit farmers’ needs.
“We are delivering on the pledge we made last year to provide simple, affordable technology access to China’s rural population,” said Barrett, who also chairs the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development. “Today’s launch proves how much can be achieved when private industry and government work hand in hand to realize a shared vision.”
The collaboration aligns with Intel’s commitment to support China’s New Countryside Initiative, which strives to raise the living standards of China’s farmers through PC adoption and other rural development measures. The work is part of the Intel World Ahead Program, Intel’s global effort to provide people in developing countries with the benefits of better, faster access to information and communications technology (ICT).
Programs Support PC Deployment, Content and Training
The Haier Farmer PC is being marketed in China as the “JiaJiaLe” 800-A — in English, “happy family.” Jointly researched and developed by Intel, Chinese PC manufacturer Haier and MII, the PC is designed with innovative ease-of-use features to help villagers who lack computer skills. For example, a handwriting pad lets farmers input Chinese characters; and a one-click Internet browsing interface enables farmers to get to the online sites they visit most frequently using a single button rather than typing the URL into the Web browser’s address bar. The PC also offers a novel text-to-voice technology that helps farmers with limited literacy understand the words written on a Web page by hearing them read aloud.
Overall, Intel is donating 6,000 PCs to support the rural PC pilot programs. Two thousand Haier Farmer PCs will be deployed this year across provinces participating in the MII’s pilot program, beginning with the 300 PCs already donated to farmers in the Henan province.
Research conducted by the MII and Intel showed that the top barriers for increasing computer use in rural areas are: understanding how and why to use a PC. To address these challenges, Intel and the MII are co-developing localized Internet content and software applications tailored to meet the needs of China’s farmers. Intel is also supporting an MII program to provide PC literacy training to farmers. A mobile training facility — essentially a computer lab on wheels — donated by Intel travels from village to village, with the goal of training 10,000 rural IT specialists in the next year.
Students at the XiMingYi Elementary School in the Xuchang district also provided Wee Theng Tan, President of Intel China, a firsthand look of how technology is strengthening rural education. Education initiatives driven by Intel are showing substantive progress. For example, more than 910,000 teachers have been trained on the effective use of technology in the classroom since the Intel® Teach Program was launched in China in 2000 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. Intel Teach is currently implemented in all 31 provinces. Intel’s goal is to train 1.7 million teachers in China by 2011.
Following his visit to the YaoJia village, Barrett traveled to Dalian, China, where he will take part in the World Economic Forum’s Inaugural Meeting of the New Champions, an invitation-only event expected to draw more than 1,500 participants from 80 countries. Barrett is one of 14 international business leaders selected to serve as mentors to this new community and share their experience in building global businesses.
During the next 100 days, Barrett will also visit Africa, the Middle East and Latin America to explore how digital inclusion programs are taking root and creating life-changing opportunities. In addition, as chairman of the U.N. GAID, Barrett will play a leadership role in the Connect Africa summit hosted by the Government of Rwanda, and co-organized by the International Telecommunications Union, the World Bank and the African Union in Kigali, Rwanda, Oct. 29-30. The summit focuses on mobilizing the human, technical and financial resources needed to close major gaps in Africa’s ICT infrastructure.
Through its World Ahead Program, Intel strives to improve education, healthcare, entrepreneurship and government services in developing countries worldwide by accelerating access to computers, connectivity and localized Internet content. Additional information is available at www.intel.com/changingtheworld and www.intel.com/intel/worldahead.
This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.
News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.