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),”

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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.

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.

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.

Project Airtel Kilimo: CABI and KARI team meet for consultation

CABI and KARI team for the project Airtel Kilimo
CABI and KARI team for the project Airtel Kilimo

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Direct2Farm Newsletter Volume 4 is out now

Direct2Farm Newsletter_Vol-4_2014

Check out the articles on mobile application and update from mKisan in the volume 4 of Direct2Farm newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox email at direct2farm@cabi.org

D2F Scale up: Way forward to integrate ICT in Plantwise

Convergence of Direct2Farm and Plantwise

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