Training cum Workshop on Mobile Advisory
(3-2-2013), Zonal Project Directorate, Zone VII, Jabalpur
At the outset Dr. S.R.K. Singh welcomed Dr. V.S.Tomar, Vice Chancellor, JNKVV, Jabalpur, experts from IIT Kanpur, IFFCO Kisan Sanchar limited, Bhopal, Dr. Anupam Mishra, ZPD, Zone VII, Dr. K.K. Saxena, DES, JNKVV, Jabalpur, scientists from the ZPD and computer programmer from the KVKs in training cum workshop programme. He emphasized interaction among the experts and trainees as the main purpose of workshop and expected some tangible output in terms of impact of the training on Mobile Advisory.
Dr. Anupam Mishra , Zonal Project Director appreciated the first of its kind initiative of training programme for computer programmer of KVKs of this zone. He pointed out the need of Hi Tech KVKs in this modern world of connectivity and asked the participants to explore the expanding horizons of the technology for the welfare and technological empowerment of the farmers. Use of technologies like messaging, voice calls through mobile as means of electronic communication can pave the way for increased outreach of the KVK with its limited manpower. This will help in better utilization of scientific manpower and knowledge repository of KVKs to reach the five crore rural population of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Dr. Anupam Mishra also talked about reduntity of multiple messages sent by different stakeholders to the farmers and asked to devise mechanism for pooling of all messages for farmers from a single platform at district level. He asked the gathering to come out with concrete plan in this regard.
Dr. V. S. Tomar, Vice Chancellor, JNKVV, Jabalpur in his remarks stressed the need for equipping computer programmer with laptop and modern ways of communication. The mobile phones can be used as tools to reach the unreached farmers in the state i.e. 1.65 crore of farmers with the help of 47 KVKs. He asked KVKs to work in tandem with ATMA at district level and along with Directorate of Extension Services and Zonal Project Directorate for functioning of mobile advisory services for the farmers. He felt it important to collect, discuss, sort and finalize messages at one place before sending them to the farmers, a team can be formed in this regard. Coordination and moderation at this stage will help farmers getting crisp messages and help in avoiding duplication. Weather forecast, market information, urgent information can be sorted and send according to the need and urgency of the situation. He also asked to note reaction of the farmers and modify the content or language accordingly. He suggested charging a token amount from the farmers for the messages and printing materials for catching more attention of the farmers.
Experts from IIT Kanpur presented details of agropedia and V-KVK functioning and registration details to the KVKs. They are providing three services namely Expert to Farmer (E2F), Farmer to Expert (F2E) and Expert to Expert (E2E). Text messages and voice messages are being sent to the farmers which are quite helpful for illiterate farmers. Text messages are available in 10 languages with 160 character limit. Pradip Bhatt of IKSL presented their modus operandi in collaboration with airtel on number 534351. They are operating in 18 states.
Action Points: For IIT Kanpur
- Customization of website along with inclusion of browsing option for excel file was suggested for registration of the farmers instead of individual farmer registration keeping in view number of active farmers with the KVKs in Madhya Pradesh.
- It was suggested by the house to provide the option of categorizing farmers according to crops and enterprises so that crop specific messages can be sent to the concerned farmers.
- The feature of scheduling of messages, which is available for internet banking, should be included.
- Information like crops, enterprises, education, land holding and address of the farmer should be included in profile of the farmer.
- The issue of increasing file formats available for uploading audio files on the website.
- It was also suggested to look after hardware problem regarding quality of audio messages recorded through mobile for sending to farmers.
- Issue of DND was also discussed and it was decided to take up the issue with TRAI and include it under social advertisement, so that DND farmers can also receive the messages.
- It was also expected if portal can provide the service of sending messages for all registered farmers of the KVK instead of only 100 farmers per KVK as the prevailing model of IIT Kanpur.
- Information regarding maximum number of farmers per KVK which can be served by this portal should let be known.
- Detailed records of calls received by farmers and duration for which it was heard should be made available for monitoring authority.
- Data sorting by KVK, date, subject, crop, season, land holding and enterprises of the sent messages should be made available for effective monitoring authorities.