CHITWAN, July 16: With an aim of connecting farmers to university, Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) had established a Kisan Call Center in Chitwan. The call center, established in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, came into operation on the occasion of the university's anniversary, on June 17 last year.
Though the call center is regarded as a major achievements of the university, it has not been utilized by many farmers.
The call center was established to help the farmers on issued related to agriculture and livestock. The farmers can call, present their problems, and get opinions and suggestions from experts through the toll free number provided by the call center.
However, hardly any farmer makes calls to the center. Ram Hari Timilsina, assistant professor at the university, who has been looking after the call center, said only about 100 calls have been received at the center in the past one year.
"We seldom get calls," Timilsina said, adding: "Sometimes we don't get a single call for a whole day and sometimes a call goes unanswered." The university does not have an assigned employee to look after the call center.
Professors, postgraduate students and other employees of the university attend calls in the call center when they have time. The center stays shut most of the time. The call center is located inside the audio-visual room of the university.
The call center is in testing phase even after a year, according to Timilsina.
If used properly, the call center could be a medium to transmit research findings to the farmers and resolve their problems through discussion. However, the farmers have been deprived of the benefit as it is not in use.
The call center does not even have a data on how many farmers called and how many got their concerns addressed.
Timilsina said that a proposal to make proper use of the center has been submitted to the university.
Professor Dr Man Raj Kolakshyapati, registrar of the university, said that the university was planning to properly operate the call center. “The center will be made effective after upgrading it in collaboration with the ministry,” he said.
The toll free number of the call center is 16605652727.