Source: Press Information Bureau
The project conceptualized, designed and developed in-house within the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation has widened the outreach of scientists, experts and Government officers posted down to the Block level to disseminate information, give advisories and to provide advisories to farmers through their mobile telephones. It was launched by the President of India in 2013.
This SMS Portal for Farmers has empowered all Central and State Government Organizations in Agriculture & allied sectors (including State Agriculture Universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Agromet Forecasts Units of India Meteorological Department, ICAR Institutes, Organization in Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries etc.) to give information/services/advisories to farmers by SMS in their language, preference of agricultural practices and locations
What is it?
It is a unified platform from where officials and scientists can send targeted text and voice based advisories to the farmers on a host of issues related to agriculture and allied sectors.
Objectives of the portal
- To make SMS and other mobile-based services as a tool of 2 way agricultural extension in which not only information/advisory services are provided to farmers as per his/her need in a broadcast mode (in keeping with selection of crop / agricultural practice, requirements and location) but they can also raise specific queries through Pull SMS or USSD.
- Making use of the huge spread of mobile telephony in the rural areas to cover every farm household in the country to overcome the major impediment in bringing level playing field for small and marginal farmers.
- Centralized system wherein different modes of information flow are channelized and spread to the farmers in their own language.
- Integrated Portal to ensure proper storage in previous advisories/messages and also effective monitoring at various levels.
- Integration of database of farmers from the State Governments, Universities, KVKs web-based registration, Kisan Call Centres, etc.
- Since effective internet penetration in the rural areas is about 5% only, text messaging in the language of the farmer transcends the barriers of the digital divide.
- Provision of web-based services through SMS or USSD is thus the fulcrum of the whole Project.
- Integration with other farmer-centric services such as Kisan Call Centres, Common Service Centres, Web Portals for extracting relevant information and also for feeding data from remote locations where the Internet is not available or is unreliable.
Features of m-Kisan
- Different languages: Nearly 3000 officers and experts from the Government of India (DAC, ICAR, DAHDF, IMD, CWC) and State Governments & its organizations down to Block level, SAUs, KVKs and AMFUs have been activated and are using the Portal in 12 different languages by using easy phonetic typing
- Grouping of farmers: The farmers have been grouped based on the State, District, Block and the Crops/Activities selected by respective farmers
- Messages are sent based on technical literature prepared by the authorities, Government orders, websites and, most importantly, Farmers’ Portal (Beta Version) of which SMS Portal is a part.
- Integration of web services: Some web services across the country have already been integrated with the SMS Portal and many more are in the queue. Some of these include BuyerSeller Interface, choice of machine & dealer, Kisan Call Centre, market prices, NeGP-A roll-out, farm-mechanization, micro-irrigation, animal husbandry, fertilizer testing, etc