SDC delegates appreciated Direct2Farm initiative

SDC's filed visit

Reaching the Bottom of Pyramid

Delegates from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation appreciated Direct2Farm’s initiative and it’s mission to reach larger number of people by establishing an effective last mile connectivity through mobile phones.

They visited Meerut, a district of Uttar Pradesh, their experience during this visit is mentioned below, in their own words.

We from the Swiss Agency for Development and Coopertation had the pleasure to visit one site of the Direct2Farm ( project at Meerut in India, 23 April 2013. Direct2Farm is a mobile-enabled agriculture infomediary service aimed at making high quality information readily accessible to farmers. Accompanied by Mr Sharbendu Banerjee and Ms Priyanka Anand of the D2F- CABI team in Delhi, we visited the Farmer’s Call Center that serves more than 30’000 farmers, an Airtel phone company selling stand in a nearby market, met with farmers in their fields and visited one farming family’s home near Meerut.

We experienced how advisory ‘audio’-messages were concisely recorded and sent out to farmers, heard farmers calling the call center and the livestock expert giving advice to specific farmer requests. Farmers, we met showed a great interest in these advisory messages and related services as it connects them to the broader farming community, to specific knowledge, to market prices, and expert advice etc. This is happening in an environment in which traditional agricultural extension activities seem to be largely absent. 

What struck us is how this service allows information to ‘quickly’ reach women and men farmers, even those that are not at ease in writing and reading, provided that their diagnostic is accurate and based on good observation! It empowers farmers to stay informed, to share this information with others, and based on that decide themselves to make informed choices. The CABI team, which is the content partner of this phone service set up with a telecom company as well as a fertilizer company and farmers’ association, is a young and highly motivated team. It engages with the view to continuously learn from farmers’ feedback to improve the mobile service and is devoted to reach out and empower the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ farmers. The approach bears a high potential and can exploit synergies with other CABI activities, such as implemented by Plantwise.

About direct2farm
Direct 2Farm is an Agriculture Infomediary Service aimed at making high quality and reliable information accessible to farmers, enabling them to “optimize resources”, and take “informed decisions” resulting in profitable farming activity supporting livelihood improvement.

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