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  Joined: Oct 28, 2003
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About aAQUA

The aAQUA eAgriService - serving 520 Districts till date

I do not like text FAQs.  Can I find any quick Video tutorial on how to use aAQUA to ask questions, contribute answers and a tour of useful things to know?


The Video does not cover all questions answered below. 

Q: What is aAQUA?

A: The aAQUA eAgriService is a problem-solving system dedicated to find solutions to problems posed by Indian farmers - small and large.  Answers to your agri-related queries are sent in 24 to 72 hours depending on the difficulty.  Experts are employees of their respective organizations and serve without charge.  The best things in life can come free!

What is a question on aAQUA like?
An example Q&A is
Query Regarding Silk Prices

You will note that a user wanted to know the markets for silk cocoons. The expert replied to the post with a paragraph about the auctions held in the country. They then attached data they had in their reports with details of each market including dates between which the markets are open. They added another post describing where payments were to be made and that the govt. provides official transport to the auctions sites with the fuel charges to be borne by the buyer.

Q: Can anyone post a question?
A: Yes, anyone with access to PC or mobile phone plus GPRS/Internet connection/Email can ask questions and view answers. You will have to register with the forum to ask a question (no charges for our users).
  The service is sponsored by support from Agrocom Software Technologies.  Agrocom does not sell any kind of agri-inputs to farmers.

Users can attach photos to helps illustrate their question. Files can also be attached.

Q: I use a PC on a very slow internet connection? How can I use aAQUA daily?

Yes, you're welcome to use aAQUA for your daily use. You can send us questions over email and receive Answers too.

To search through aAQUA Q&A you can use Search Engine cache for quick results. Here is a guide for Google.

Who answers aAQUA Questions?

Anyone can answer aAQUA Questions since the forum is open to all on the Internet. You have to check the source of the answer before you take the answers seriously.

Answers from Public Extension Experts are marked with a Green Color Logo "Salahagar" in Marathi or "Advisor" in English, also shown as Certified Expert.

Answers from Farmers and Private Experts come with the information they provided during registration.

We have spam filters to remove the obvious misuse of the forum.

72 Registered Experts form the expert forum - they come from diverse areas of expertise from KVK Baramati, ICRISAT, Pantnagar University and its KVKs, University of Dharwad and its KVKs and University of Raichur and its KVKs.

How good are the answers? Are they too brief to be useful?  Do they provide the right amount of detail?

Independent authorities on Agriculture have confirmed the general quality of answers. (Questions too, questions can also be bad or good :) Let us know how we are doing by giving us feedback.

If you are someone who want to help with editing what is here, pls write to info@agrocom.co.in

What are the common ways of searching through such an archive of Q&A?

You can also search the "Popular" link on the home page (next to Recent Questions link) or sort Q&A by no. of Replies to find useful topics with lots of replies. Or Search on an area of your interest using these three search tools built to work for all languages:

(a) The familiar way - click "Search" button for options and typing keywords.

(b) "Custom Search" to complement above by searching photos on aAQUA and other content on the Web from within aAQUA....again by typing keywords as above.

(c) "Advanced Search" - with even more options to search by location, phone STD code, PIN Code, expert name, forum name or Recent Q&A Only.....

(d) Want aAQUA to suggest keywords for you.  Try the "By Keyword" (below "Search").   Clicking "MORE"  under Crops Forum or "Popular Keywords" (bottom left) also takes you to the same place.  This is a special tool to find exactly what you want - by Topic (Crops, Inputs, Disease names etc.) Its not complete yet, we are still adding recent Q&A, but you'll get the idea - and you can copy paste keywords from there into the SearchBox option mentioned in (a) above.

(e) Still not finding what you're searching for?  We're sorry, pls. let us know by giving us feedback.

(f) Find these Search features adequate?  Do let us know how we are doing by giving us feedback.

Q: Apart from the aAQUA Q&A what other Agricultural content is provided?

(1) Solutions to common Crop Pests & Diseases - "Crop[ Doctor" on the top left
(2)Next to it is Useful "Crop recommendations"
(3) Next to it is "News" for you to share or read.

(4) Next to it is "Useful Links" - a comprehensive compilation of websites.

(5) We have price information services from the best sources on the Internet - look at the links below "Market Information" forum.

Q: Any non Agri-Answers are provided?
As a practitioner, you know that lots of problems you face are not "Agri" in nature - e.g. obtaining an online copy of Land Records, enquring about a financing scheme, about machinery and automation, about processing, warehousing and transportation or maybe more a livelihood question on how to increase Income.

"Certified Experts" on aAQUA are not the right people to answer these queries.   They try to help by putting you in touch with someone who can help - with contact information.  Sometimes, magic happens and someone else on aAQUA (not having an expert account) knows the answer and helps you out - just like that.  We are working hard on increasing these magical connections and encounters.

Can I read more about the kind of farmers who use aAQUA and their questions?

 Top aAQUA Users and their questions.

 Farmer Profiles.

What about Bottom-of-Pyramid farmers?

It remains controversial, to-be-proved if information technologies like aAQUA can benefit BoP farmers directly.     You can run a telephone helpline for them or send SMS - but how does this compare with other interventions of improving their confidence in themselves, of earning a livelihood and fighting injustice meted (given) out to their families.

We leave this to the BoP experts - they decide if and how to use aAQUA for the communities they serve.

How can you be across 520 Districts?  Where's the catch?  How does aAQUA quantify and measure impact?

aAQUA is now 9 years old and indexed by all major search engines - hence the traffic.   Our servers have slowed down since we have not kept in pace with the user and indexing traffic that we receive - and we are improving this.

We also have a mobile GPRS site - so PCs are not necessary.  Though we only count our aaqua.org user locations while adding up to 520 Unique districts.

The catch is that broadband and GPRS access in rural India is far from complete.    Economic benefits will multiply exponentially as more and more people find each other on the same platform.  

For now we estimate, we save farmers an average of 10 days spread over two months of their time to find a solution - per Question answered.   With upwards of 15,000 threads the aAQUA community has saved farmers 1.5 Lakh days spread over 30,000 man-months of time.  

If aAQUA farmers on average earn 30,000 per month, one estimate is that this is equivalent to Rs. 150 Crores over 30,000 man-months.

And as with most things in life, when something works in public view, benefits multiply among other onlookers who copy results. So the benefits spread that many times.

Q: Do you support only Marathi?
A: All Indian Languages are supported.  If you use aAQUA web-keyboard, it is currently available in Hindi/Marathi, Telugu and Kannada.  Other states currently need to use English, pls write to us at aaqua@agrocom.co.in, if you want more languages.

Our Telugu and Kannada experts also send answers.  You will receive English answers from experts in Maharashtra.

The home page (front page) allows you to choose your language question-answers first (e.g Hindi users can see only Hindi Q&A)

 Q: What is the incentive for experts/ other users who contribute answers?

A: aAQUA is a platform for experts to show what they know - many experts get new business from contacts they develop on aAQUA, others derive satisfaction of helping a farmer 1000 kilometres away or helping hundreds of farmers across India in a very short period of time - as short as a week.  Also those who contribute receive more responses and thus can be more up-to-date in their knowledge and business than those who only view and read.   Like farming its better to be a producer and consumer.   30% of aAQUAs registered users are "producers"

 Chances are that what you say will be available, searchable by our future generations too - so lets make it good, lets make it count. Perhaps we may even build a hands-on Agro-encyclopedia together - do you think this is possible?

Can I advertise my products and services on aAQUA?

Yes, as a post.  You're topics are usually moved into a "Discussions" forum where our readers can benefit.   We do not support banner advertising or mobile advertising.

Can I get paid to answer aAQUA Questions?

aAQUA Experts do not charge for their answers... they develop business contacts on aAQUA or derive satisfaction from helping farmers across a wide geography.

You may however get paid to contribute your agro-content if it is of high quality, kindly write with samples to info@agrocom.co.in 

Q: Our organisation helps operate information kiosks and services. Can we use aAQUA for our purposes?
A: Yes, please contact: aaqua@agrocom.co.in with your plan.   We prohibit organizations from loading our servers with questions without prior agreement with Agrocom.   Depending on the load you expect to put on us, charges may be applicable.

Q: What are the plans for increasing aAQUA users on a larger scale?
A: aAQUA users have grown so far by word of mouth publicity including articles in regional newspapers written by some of our users. We have achieved content sustainability - that is even with zero publicity we have a minimum no of users, queries and answers.

Q: What recognition have you received?
Foremost, we have the trust and satisfaction of farmers and computer operators spread over rural
India - 520 Districts. aAQUA has been covered in various magazines and Marathi newspapers some of which have been documented Read Media Articles Here.

aAQUA was honoured with the Manthan award - Gold prize best eContent in July 2005 under the eInclusion category. Thanks to Digital Empowerment Foundation for the excellent platform to showcase other Indian Best Practices in eContent.

 Agrocom was honoured as the Most Inspiring Young Company at the PanIIT Business Plan Competition at IIT Chennai in December 2008 and with the ISBA Award for Enterprising companies.

Q: Why only agriculture?  If we can help, can you provide other forums?

We can help you with a new forum for a topic, if you can arrange for experts in your area.   

The online forum is powered by various open-source software such as mvnforum and lucene that are available in the public domain. We offer aAQUA replications to organizations seeking their own aAQUA portal with Indian Language support using Red Hat's model of charging for additional services such as hosting, training, installation, maintenance etc.


Need: Advice about new businesses
Action: Identify an expert who will volunteer to answer these questions
and make the operators market the service

Need: Primary health
Action: Make a directory of local authorized practitioners. You can tie up with a volunteer doctor who can give first-level diagnoses.

Need: Get school students to use internet resources effectively
Action: Identify volunteers who will guide the students and have students post their questions on a forum.

Need: Advice about crop/animal diseases
Action: Use exisiting forums to ask queries

Need: Career counselling for unemployed
Action: Get a local volunteer to answer questions posed by the locals.
(The first meetings can be face to face and once trust is built they can be done online)

As you can see, the possibilities are enormous. aAQUA acts as a 2 way conduit between layman and expert to solve problems, over-time knowledge in the domain is archived.

So if you can identify a genuine need in your region and locate experts who have access to internet and are willing to contribute (for free or otherwise) you can start a service. Some face to face meetings and a campaign may start the process but eventually people will come to your forum if they find value in your answers. They may be even willing to subscribe and pay for the services.  Email aaqua@agrocom.co.in for further enquiries.

Q: What is the Developmental Informatics Lab at IIT 

A: Developmental Informatics Lab:

aAQUA was born at the DIL Lab at IIT Bombay.

A cross disciplinary group working on research issues in increasing access to internet and communication technologies to rural and small town India. The lab is involved in various projects funded by Media Lab Asia, Ministry of Communications and IT (GoI), Development Gateway Foundation (GoI, World Bank) and Pan Asia Networking (UNDP, IDRC, APDIP, ISOC, APNIC and Microsoft). The areas under investigation include design and evaluations of devices and interfaces for computer, handheld and mobile users, cross-lingual information retrieval and translation, improving information dissemination protocols over the internet catering for low bandwidth and small devices, ethnographic studies emphasizing the study of social & cultural factors influencing interaction design of applications for e-learning and use of computers in education. The laboratory is formed around several core projects, each involving academic, industrial and village community partners.

DIL's role is to facilitate the invention, refinement, and dissemination of innovations that benefit the needy masses. We work with industry, NGOs, and governments, to bring these innovations to rural and small town 

Q: Who are our partners?


(a) Vigyan Ashram, Pabal
(b) Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Baramati
(c) ICRISAT, Patancheru, Hyderabad
(d) University of Agri Sciences, Dharwad and its KVKs at Dharwad and Gulbarga
(d) University of Pant Nagar and its KVKs at Kashipur and Dhakrani                                   

(e) University of Raichur and its KVKs

Dr. S.S. Kalbag set up Vigyan Ashram in the year 1983 with a vision to train village school dropouts in rural technology so as to enable them to earn a living in the village itself. The course was appropriately named Rural Development Education System (RDES). The objectives of the RDES Program are: -

a. The Integration of development with education.
b. To stimulate the intellect through physical activities.
c. To broaden the horizon of experience of the students.
d. To reverse the rural to urban migration and to give a multi-skill base for specialization.

The system of `Learning while Doing, in real life situation' adopted by Vigyan Ashram, involves doing community service work in real life as part of education. The RDES Program is at present getting implemented in 23 schools and 2 non-formal centers. In December 2001, Dr. Kalbag signed an agreement with n-Logue communications to bring wireless connectivity to Pabal region. As per the agreement Vigyan Ashram became the Internet Service Provider for n-Logue projects in Khed (Rajgurunagar) and Pabal. www.vigyanashram.com

The Krishi Vigyan Kendra is a district level 
FarmScience Center established by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi at Agricultural Development Trust Baramati, District Pune for speedy transfer of technology to the farmer's fields. The operational area of this Krishi Vigyan Kendra comes under the westernMaharashtra dry Zone. The aim of Krishi Vigyan Kendra is to reduce the time lag between Generation of technology at the research institutions and its transfer to the farmer's field for increasing production, productivity and income from the agriculture and allied sectors on a sustained basis. www.kvkbaramati.com

 Complete list of KVK Partners

KVK    Baramati, Pune   Maharashtra

KVK    Gulbarga             Karnataka

KVK    Dharwad             Karnataka

KVK    Dhakrani             Uttaranchal

KVK    Kashipur             Uttaranchal

KVK    Nasik                 Maharashtra

KVK    Ahamadnagar      Maharashtra

KVK    Nandurbar           Maharashtra

KVK    Amravati             Maharashtra

KVK    Latur                  Maharashtra

KVK    Solapur               Maharashtra

KVK    Jalana                Maharashtra


 Q: Who is Agrocom Pvt Ltd?  What is the copyright policy for posts made on aaqua.org?


Agrocom is a company started by the Founders of aAQUA incubated at the IIT Bombay's Business Incubator. The company became cash positive and moved out of the incubator to take Problem -Solving to the next level and is currently located at KReSIT, IIT Bombay  The company is promoted by Dr Krithi Ramamritham, Mr. Anil Bahuman and Dr Bishnu Pradhan.

Copyright for any post made on aaqua.org is held by the person making the post (this can be an organization if the aAQUA ID is the name of an organization).   At the same time, the copyright holder gives Agrocom a license to use, modify, print the content in return for no monetary benefit.

Agrocom supports the aAQUA server, the various databases, web and mobile services powering aAQUA Web, aAQUA Mobile and aAQUA Voice .  Agrocom also moderates the aAQUA forum in addition to the experts to maintain editorial quality.

  By giving a license to Agrocom, the user is helping Agrocom make the content available in various forms (such as Book form) without requiring the consent of each and every person who has posted on aAQUA, since it is impractical.

Since the user continues to hold copyright, the user can replicate their content elsewhere.

Thus only Agrocom can create a replica of the entire content of aaqua.org in another place.  Any person who wants to cache the content on the Internet or wants to use the Content needs prior permission from Agrocom.

Limited portion of the aAQUA Content (The first post of every thread - usually the question) is available for syndication by using the RSS Feed links on the homepage - and can be used anywhere on the Internet without prior permission from Agrocom.

The complete aAQUA Policy is at:

Link to aAQUA Policy and Terms & Conditions

  Please write to aaqua@agrocom.co.in for more details or visit www.agrocom.co.in

Did you know.......aAQUA's answers have been view by our users 14 million times - that is read 140 Lakh times. This does not include views over email, print or other websites using our content feeds.
[Edit 27 times, last edit by bahuman at Jul 16, 2012 2:22:08 PM]
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20+ Contributor
Nevare , Akluj

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Re: About aAQUA

I am totally satisfied from your Information.

So thanks for that information. 


Thanks & regard
Avinash Avachar,
Nevare(Akluj) Solapur

Farm is Heaven, Farmer is God
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Re: About aAQUA
I am a new member in aAQUA . I am happy to join. I am from Pondicherry. I like to learn a lot from this forum. I also like to share about my NGO called Best Foundation, a welfare organisation for the livestock rearing farmers.
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  Expert Name: Dr. V. I. Benagi
Phone Number: 08362774464

Re: About aAQUA
Basically iam an Agricultural scientist working at University of Agricultural Sciences,Dharwad.Presently serving as Dean of one Agricultural College .Iam totally satisfied with aAQUA because I too can a lot of knowledge which is required for farmers.We can make prioritity of field problems,formulate the technical programme.we can interact with many number of farmers who are actually giving the real feed back about the technology.I prey all the scientific community to use this web for betterment of farming of India.
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