Direct2Farm Scale Up Service: Voices from the field

Hemlal Prasad Yadav, a farmer from the Giridih district of the state Jharkhand, in eastern India, told that that he regularly receives information on weather and agriculture from Direct2Farm and finds them very useful. Especially the Information at the time of irrigation and pest management practices has helped him a lot. There is no other source of information available there, that is why he has enrolled himself in the service by providing his mobile number to the Krishi Kendra. He mentioned that if other farmers too, give their mobile number, then everyone will get benefit from this service

Saag Ram is a farmer from a place Dabawali in Sirsa district of the state Haryana, in northern India. He receives information on weather and agriculture twice a week from the Direct2Farm service. He takes up works in his farm according to the weather information provided to him. Market price updates are also beneficial. He said he also receives information on livestock and pest management practices which he plans to implement in his farm.

Virendra, a farmer from Haryana using Direct2Farm service

Virendra, a farmer from Haryana using Direct2Farm service

Virendra is a farmer from the Ambala district of the state Haryana in northern India. He regularly listens to the voice messages from the Direct2Farm service. He feels that the information received on the weather, management practices and irrigation are very good and he gets benefitted from them.

Suresh Kumar, a farmer from the Narwana village of the Jind district of Haryana, in northern India. He expressed that he is a regular listener of the agriculture advisory messages of Direct2Farm. He thinks that the information provided through these messages is very useful and all the farmers should work according to the advice, to get most benefit. He emphasised that a helpline service would have been very good, since he could then call up whenever any information is required.

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On the International Women’s Day

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The gram panchayat of village Bibipur of Jind district of Haryana organised a program on the International Women’s Day i.e. on 8th March. 100 women farmers attended the program. The program was chaired by Sarpanch (the head of Panchayat) and key issues related to women were discussed. CABI was also invited in the program to connect Bibipur with Direct2Farm service. Sharbendu Banerjee, the Global Director-Mobile from CABI, presented on how farmers can get benefitted from mobile information service and also explained about the special benefits women farmers can obtain. He also announced the story telling competition for the rural women on the topic ‘How you have made a positive change in your life by using mobile phones’. The objective of the program was to popularise mobile based service among women farmers and making them understand on how they can use mobile phone to improve their livelihood.

Café Móvel acknowledged

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The Coffee Board of India has recognised the value of the Café Móvel pilot project in a letter to CABI. The project has been running successfully in the state of Karnataka for over a year. The service has been proven to be an effective ICT tool to supplement the extension service provided by the Coffee Board of India to coffee growers. The Coffee Board stated that, “such mobile based service would also be useful and effective in agriculture extension and commodity sector in particular.”

Café Móvel is a project running in Karnataka exclusively for the coffee growers. Café Móvel is a mobile technology enabled communication service for enhancing the efficiency and impact of the coffee extension service of Indian Coffee Board, by innovative use of mobile technology. This service is designed, deployed and maintained by CABI, with help from the Coffee Board of India and with the support from the International Coffee Organization and Common Fund for Commodities

Success stories of mKisan

Potato field of the farmer using mKisan

Potato field of the farmer using mKisan


The proliferation of mobile technology has greatly helped to bridge the information gap in the society. Whether it is an urban area or the rural area, the mobile phones have become the common device. Taking the leverage of this technology, mKisan has reached millions of farmers across 6 states of India, where the conventional agriculture extension service could not be reached. Some of the farmers shared their experience of using the service.

A farmer from Bihar of West Champaran district said that he has received some of the best information from the SMSs. He shared that he never used to irrigate his wheat crop when the wheat heads were forming. But an SMS on wheat crop said that it’s very important to irrigate the wheat crop at this stage. It would help in the formation of the heads. So, he irrigated his wheat crop, the result was good. From then on, he has always practiced it.

A farmer from Madhya Pradesh of Indore district shared that talking to an expert over the mKisan helpline proved beneficial. His potato crop was affected by blight; this reduced the potato production significantly. Expert suggested using fungicide, which helped in protecting his crop. Beside this, the farmer also came to know about the application of nitrogen in gram. Previously, farmer used to apply nitrogen after 15 days to one month after sowing. Expert over the helpline advised to use the nitrogen right in the beginning during the first irrigation after sowing gram. This is applicable for garlic crop too. This advice gave good results and increased the crop yield.

mNutrition

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CABI-led consortium secures GSMA funding to aidp three million people access nutrition information using mobile technology. The consortium comprises CABI, BMJ, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Oxfam GB.

More than three million people in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia will be accessing vital nutrition and health information using mobile technology as part of a mNutrition project to help tackle malnutrition – a leading cause of child death worldwide. The GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation has appointed a CABI-led consortium as the global content provider to the mNutrition initiative – a UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded project that aims to improve the nutritional status of more than three million people. The initiative will tackle malnutrition and help beneficiaries to access nutrition-based agricultural and health information using mobile technology.

6th Volume of Direct2Farm Newsletter published

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6th Volume of the newsletter covers the significant topic i.e. Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture. It also covers about training program organized in Kenya for the project Airtel Kilimo, mAgri working group meeting, planning workshop for D2F scale-up and some highlights from mKisan midline case study.

World Soil Day

???????????????????????????????The World Soil Day highlights the importance of soil. Soil is a critical component of our natural system, which vitally contributes to food, water, energy, climate, biodiversity and life.

On December 20, 2013, the 68th UN General Assembly declared December 5th, 2014 as World Soil Day and 2015 as the International Year of Soils. This official recognition of this day underlines the importance of soils.

Soils have been overlooked for long. Deteriorating soil health has been a cause of concern. Imbalanced use of fertilizers, low use of organic matter and non-replacement of depleted micro and secondary nutrients over the years, has resulted in nutrient deficiencies and decrease in soil richness. The World Soil Day campaign aims to bring awareness among people about how soil has critical importance in our lives.

National Seminar on Re-orientation of Agriculture Education

National Seminar in BAU IMG_0007National Seminar on Re-orientation of Agriculture Education was organized by Bihar Agriculture University (India) on 14-15 November, 2014. The focus of the seminar was to understand the present scenario of the agriculture education, its needs and challenges and understanding the role of ICT in classroom teaching and learning. People from ICAR, NCERT, SAUs, NARS, Smart Series and CABI (India) participated in the program. CABI presented on ‘Role of ICT in classroom teaching and agriculture’. The emphasis was given on the systematic inclusion of the ICT in education system can be proved fruitful, considering the fact that number of people are not friendly to the technology.

Planning Workshop- For improving farmers’ knowledge access In India

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The planning workshop was organized in New Delhi on 22nd September, 2014. The aim of the workshop was to improve the farmers’ knowledge access. The program was sponsored by UK Department of International Development (DFID).

in this program, participants include the people from CABI South Asia and Kisan Sanchar. The importance of using mobile phone as a strong tool was highlighted for disseminating the information. The session on participatory rural appraisal methods was organized, it was an interactive session in which participants shared their knowledge about the community and field experience. Role plays were also done. The second session was organized on good content management practices. The program ended well and it was a good learning for the participants from each other’s experiences.

mAgri working group meeting in Dhaka

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The mAgri grantee kick off workshop was organised by GSMA in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 27th August 2014. The objective was to generate ideas and make the grantee aware about the working with GSMA and its global content partner CABI. The workshop was attended by the representatives from GSMA, CABI India, FROG, Grameen Phone Bangladesh, Dialog Sri Lanka, Vodafone Ghana and Bangla Trac Miaki Bangladesh. GSMA discussed about the objective of the mAgri grant and invited partners to discuss and set expectations with each other.