With a view to using mobile technology for the welfare of farmers, the Punjab agriculture department is set to launch a ‘Kisaan SMS Portal’, a message-based service under the National e-Governance Plan, Agriculture (NeGP-A).
This will allow the farmers to connect and ask queries from agriculture officials through SMS or voice messages.
As per the directions received from the Centre, the agriculture department is all set to start a two-way text and voice message that will deliver important information for farmers at their mobile phones in their mother tongue. Farmers can also give feedback through message service.
Earlier, there was an ordinary SMS service that on occasions used to disseminate information to farmers.
KS Sodhi, joint director of agriculture department and who is project manager of the new task, said district officials have been told to start the process of registering farmers’ mobile numbers to provide them better services.
Officials will deliver messages relevant to farming by using a mix of text messages and voice messages.
Agriculture department officials said the portal service of two-way communication will create awareness, strengthen the capability of farmers to take informed decisions and sound alerts in case of emergencies like frost, hailstorm and floods.
The officials will also provide information about weather, market prices, agro advisories, policies, government schemes, and new technologies of the government to farmers.
Swatantra Kumar Aeri, chief agriculture officer, Jalandhar, said a meeting was held with the higher authorities a few days ago and they decided to launch the service in all districts across the state to provide maximum information to farmers at the grassroots level.
“We will not just send messages about new techniques but will encourage the farmers to start using this information,” Aeri added.