Farming information now at fingertips

Published On: April 11, 2017 11:33 AM NPT By: Ramesh Kumar Paudel

Agricultural ministry launches mobile app, call center to help farmers

CHITWAN, April 11: The Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) has started an innovative program in Chitwan through which farmers can get information about pest attacks in their crop or livestock illnesses, among others, from their smartphones itself.

The ministry, with the support of the World Bank, has started Agriculture Management Information System to provide farm-related information to farmers to farmers through their smartphones. 

According to Bishnu Prasad Ghimire, a director of the project, the project has been initiated to mitigate the impacts of climate change and global warming on farmers. 
Under the project, the ministry is setting up a ‘Farmers Call Centre’ from where farmers can get information about climate, farming technologies, pest attacks, livestock diseases, among others. Farmers can make call to the call center free of cost. 

Farmers registering their phone numbers with the District Agriculture Development Office, Agriculture Service Centre and Livestock Office can make a call to the call center free of cost.

Similarly, a mobile application named ‘Hamro Kisan’ has been developed through which farmers get information about climate, farming technologies, and contact number of nearest agriculture offices, amongst others.

“The application is available in Android platform. Once the app is downloaded, farmers can use the app even in offline mode. However, the app should be updated once a week to download new updates,” added Ghimire.

According to Ghimire, the mobile application will also suggest farmers on the amount of pesticides to be used and crops suitable for cultivation, among others. “Around 5,500 farmers of 25 districts have already received ‘Farmers SIM Card’, Ghimire said, adding that the number will increase to 100,000 very soon.

Under the project, the government has also installed rain gauge and weather monitoring equipment in 63 places of Chitwan. 

Meanwhile, Bhagirath Timilsina, a local farmer, said he was hopeful that the information provided through the smartphone and call center would be beneficial for farmers like him.

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