Mobile services for agriculture

Seems like there is growing interest in mobile information services for farmers. TCS has mKrishi, Intuit had another application to get mandi prices etc, and IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd has a mobile information business with Airtel… Looks like a great application area given the number of farmers out there. The notion also extends to other large occupational communities like dairy farming and so on.

4 Responses to “Mobile services for agriculture”

  1. Roshan says:

    Hi Alok,

    I personally feel the examples cited above in the post are the obvious and treat farmers as purely farmers and ignore the fact that they are regular people who happen to live geographically in a place that is remote and where electricity, telecom infrastructure and social interaction is an issue. My parents own plantations and spend a considerable time there and I get regular calls from them to check coffee prices so there is merit in delivering commodity prices via SMS. However there is also good potential to take more money from the farmer spend through things like burglar alarms, solar lighting, wireless broadband etc. A great service has been done already by the DTH guys because of whom now it has become affordable and convenient to have entertainment and information no matter how remote the village you live in. Such applications are probably what will make more money as opposed to the 20Rs a month applications.

  2. Suhas says:

    Agree with Praveen.

    This attempts are merely some showcase activities which neither present a business case, nor they really are wholeheartedly acceptable by the farmers.
    Having experienced all of the initiatives, e -chaupal, mkrishi or Iffco Kisan Sanchar, I do not see any potential for business application. Most of them are flawed ideas and continued to win some awards or demonstrate social committment

  3. Pravin says:

    It is good to see lot of companies are working to find solution for agriculture. This is encouraging sign for farmers in India we may soon see agriculture growth rate jumping to 4 to 5% almost double from existing 2%. In the past it is seen that barring noted examples of ITC e-choupal or RML such initiatives were not big success. Some of the problems associated with such initiative are
    1. Most of the time it is half hearted effort. Such things are done as part of company’s CSR or proof that technology can be used for such purpose. I hope mKrishi will be step ahead.
    2. Most of the time focus is more on demonstrating use of technology than on solution. It may be sufficient to have only SMS or simple free dialing number but companies demonstrate various mobile app.
    3. Not much ground level eco-system. relying more on operator tie ups. Unless there is good eco-system it is very difficult to spread services and understand impact of such services.

  4. Sid says:

    Interesting! This is a step forward to the eChoupal initiative by ITC. mKrishi can provide more personalised services. Perhaps we can think of precision farming built on top of these. At the same time the information divide can be overcome in other areas as well.

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