m-Powering farmers with Agricultural Market Intelligence

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Kochi: IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd. (IKSL) is empowering their Greencard mobile customers with Agricultural Market Intelligence News. Farmers are getting market intelligence updates on Pepper, Cardamom and Coconut on their mobiles.

IKSL has signed a MoU with the Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC) at the College of Horticulture, Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), Vellanikara. As per the MoU, all the Greencard mobile users get free market intelligence updates from AMIC. The news is provided every month and the same is sent to the customers even before it goes to the media.

In an email interview, George N L, Head (Sales & Marketing), IKSL said, “At present we have 80000 plus customers across Kerala out of which 10,000 customers are hearing our messages regularly. To empower the farmers further, we are moving to community formation based on the crops. The community customers will be getting the 5 news exclusively meant for them. We are starting with 3 communities initially viz., Rubber, High range (Pepper, Cardamom, Ginger, Turmeric, Coffee & Tea) and Fishermen. They also have a call-back facility to listen to the last 5 messages.”

The Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre functions at KAU under the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP). According to Dr. N Raveendran, National Consultant, NAIP, the efficient functioning of an agricultural market intelligence centre could play a pivotal role by providing timely information about the market conditions and realisation of remunerative prices. The information on demand patterns, price behaviour, better farming practices, handling, packaging etc. has to be brought to the attention of all market functionaries to reap the full benefits of production advantages. The KAU Market Intelligence Centre is the second centre among 11 such centres across India to come out with a price forecast.
 
Jose K J, a farmer engaged in cash crops in Peravoor (Kannur District) is a beneficiary of the AMIC news for the last 3 – 4 months. Talking to Kerala IT News, he said this facility is of great help to farmers in far flung areas. Apart from this, there are free voice calls on farming techniques, weather forecasts, dairy farming, animal husbandry, rural health initiatives, fertilizer availability, market prices of agri produces etc, on a daily basis in Malayalam. A dedicated helpline, manned by experts from various fields to derive answers to specific queries related to agriculture and allied subjects is also available to the farmers.

IKSL is the rural information and telecommunications subsidiary of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative Ltd. (IFFCO) in partnership with Bharti Airtel. The basic idea is to harness the power of ICT to add value to the farm sector and empower the rural farmer by giving him access to vital information, which will enhance his livelihood and quality of life.

Anil Philip
Kerala IT News

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