Mobile phones can bring significant change in one’s life

Bibipur 1 Recently an event was (on 5 July, 2015) arranged which was actually a competition, organized by CABI’s Direct2Farm team and hosted by one of the Direct2Farm’s implementing partner and Bibipur panchayat (in the state of Haryana). The competition was restricted to the females of Bibipur village and the purpose was to gather the maximum number of real-life stories from females, where mobile has got some significant change in their life.

76 women participated and penned down their stories, in this competition. In these 76 participants, 28 were school girls, 11 were housewives, nine older than 55 years of age, three completely illiterate and seven who asked somebody else to write their stories. The rest were youths. This figure was quite encouraging. Finally, three were selected as winners out of 6 finalists based upon ranking, which was done on quality of narration, depth, intensity and originality of the story.

Bibipur 2This entire episode has brought all the females together and encouraged them to write their stories. The level of participation was showing the emerging confidence among the females of that village; this was not less than their male counterparts.

Winner of the competition was Manisha More, here is her story which she delivered in a impactful manner

“I was in class 10th, when this incidence took place. It was an evening when the entire village was in the celebration mode. There was a marriage ceremony in Bibipur village, people were in festive mood. They were dancing, the music band was at the top of their tone, and loud noise of firecrackers can be heard all around. Suddenly a firecracker slipped from the hand of a person going in the marriage procession, this firecracker remained unnoticed. I picked it up and kept it considering it as a roll of wool. I was completely ignorant that the object could be an unfired firecracker. I cut the wool layer of the firecracker; still I could not make it out what it was. My father saw me with that object and asked me to throw it away as it is dangerous firecracker. I convinced my father that the object is harmless as it has been used during marriage procession. But, he kept on insisting me to throw it away.
I thought stove (chulha) would be the best place to dispose it off. Unknowingly, I threw it into the stove. Then after, my mother came into kitchen to lit fire for cooking. The object got blasted as soon as she set on fire. She was got injured badly and got fainted. Her one hand got badly injured. I was in panic and could not understand what to do. I went to my neighbours and they immediately called on my father’s mobile. My father straightway called a doctor and called some relatives to help with some money. My mother was hospitalised and finally, she was saved. Years have crossed to this incidence. Still, her left hand is not as efficient as her right hand. This reminds me of the accident. But, I am happy she is around us. I am really thankful to the mobile technology which helped to manage everything quickly and saved my mother. She ended up her story with a impactful quotation ‘Mobile par hogi jis ki command, duniya mein hogi uski demand (One who will have command over the mobile will be always in demand),”

Krishi Vichar Goshti in Haryana

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In the month of March, 10 Krishi Vichar Goshti (KVG) were organized in 10 different villages covering 5 districts of Haryana. The KVG is the kind of meeting organized to make farmers aware about the Direct2Farm project and to understand the general issues related to farming in their area.

In KVG, farmers can discuss their problems related to agriculture and get the answers from the experts or fellow farmers. Information on various government schemes and other problems such as attack of pest and disease on crops are discussed. Feedbacks on messages are also taken from the farmers.

So far, 10 KVGs organized and were ended on successful note. This has provided farmers, an interactive platform to know about the project more and discuss their farm related issues.

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.

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.

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.