Pan India mobile tele network for spice growers

Saturday, October 13, 2012
[PHOTO: Joe Ravi]
[License: CC-BY-SA 3.0] 
By Jacob Abraham*

A day without the use of spices is unimaginable for Indians. What about a moment without your mobile phone? Can't even think of it these days. The idea of utilizing this changing life style of modern man, for the benefit of the spice farmers in India was simply an amazing idea put forward by Spices Board.

Every single person possesses a mobile phone and carries it with him wherever he goes. Passing a message over mobile phone is easily accessible for a farmer than referring a magazine or an article for farming tips or market price. Moreover these devices can take the messages to farmers in the quickest time possible. Embracing the mobile technology, Spices Board India takes a new initiative to connect farmers country wide by joining hands with IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL).

The scheme provides free Green SIM card facility to spice farmers who have registered for the programme. The provision helps to give first hand information to farmers by way of five free voice messages on a daily basis. The farmers also get an opportunity to be in touch with the authorities concerned and get all the latest information regarding spices like market fluctuations in prices, weather forecast, good agricultural practices, latest technological aids etc. IKSL will start a 24 hours call centre for the purpose which would be manned by people capable to answer the queries raised by farmers.

The Pan-India mobile tele-network was launched in Coimbatore. Dr. A. Jayathilak, Chairman, Spices Board India launched the programme in a farmers meet held at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. Around 300 farmers across the state attended the programme where around 6000 farmers have already registered in the Tamil Nadu spices community.

The purpose of the scheme is to get in direct touch with the spice farmers of the state who are the core section of the society. According to the scheme, the registered farmers of the spice community will have to furnish a photo and his voter ID for connection.

There will be a provision for interactive voice mail for the farmers to get their doubts clarified on various aspects related to spice cultivation. For Tamil Nadu, the Spices Board Office at Coimbatore will act as the central point from where the messages will be transmitted to the main IKSL server situated in New Delhi (7am and 4pm daily). The messages will be then broadcast to the farmers in voice mode, in their regional language. 

The mobile tele-network in association with IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd Kerala was launched in Kerala  at Thodupuzha by Dr. A Jayathilak. The programme started with the registration and subscriptions of mobile networks. Farmers who registered for the programme will be able to enjoy the benefits of the mobile tele network. Dr. A. Jayathilak expressed his hope that the farmers will be more responsive to the idea of tele networking and for getting information about Spices through mobile phones.

The Board will be launching the mobile tele network for spice farmers soon across India covering the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal besides South India. (PIB Features) 

(*Jacob Abraham is the Deputy Director, Press Information Bureau, Thiruvananthapuram, India)
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