Soon, daily phone alert for farmers
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Six voice calls to their cellphones daily will alert farmers in Ahmedabad district providing weather updates, market rates for crops and better farming practices, as per a project that the city administration is planning.
The initiative called e-sanchar, aims at reaching out to the farmers of the district to keep them updated about mandi prices, weather forecasts, animal husbandry, sowing practices and also help the city administration send out other pertinent information to them.
"The idea has been mooted to the state's agriculture department under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikaas Yojna (RKBV) scheme that has been set up jointly by the Central and state governments. We are also planning to tie up with IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd (IKSL) for better implementation of the projects. For instance, a farmer in the Dhanduka belt would get SMSes and voice alerts on cotton as it is the major crop grown in that region," said Banchha Nidhi Pani, District Development Officer of Ahmedabad.
The farmers can even call a toll free number where trained call centre executives will answer their queries. "A sim card that costs Rs 45 with unlimited validity will be given to the farmers. To get the alert facilities, the farmers farmers need to pay Rs 25 for the top up recharge once. We want to provide free recharge for the whole year for the farmers to avail this service," said H D Vaghela, Deputy Director of agriculture department and Ahmedabad district agriculture officer in-charge.
On being contacted, Subrahmanyam Srinivasan, CEO of IKSL said, "We would be delighted to be part of any project that involves rural empowerment with the city administration. With the same model, we are already present in 18 states with 26 lakh subscribers, mostly farmers, who use our 'green sim cards' to get their information."
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