mKisan: The Farmer App

mkisanAgriculture is the staple economic activity for living for a large section of the population in the rural parts of India. Agriculture creates 16% of national income. Given its significance, the agriculture community should be offered extensive government services on a real-time basis at affordable prices. The government has initiated multiple extension services in this regard.
mKisan SMS portal enables all central and state government agencies to send information, service, advice etc. to farmers by SMS in their regional languages.

Origin

e-Governance was extended to agriculture extension services under National e-Governance Plan – Agriculture (NeGP-A). Under the project, different modes of service deliveries have been visualized, including the Internet, agri-clinics, private kiosks, touch screen kiosks. private kiosks, mass media, common service centers, Kisan Call Centers, and integrated platforms in the departmental offices, along with ensuring extension personnel reaching the farming community. However, the mobility has been found to be most useful in remote rural areas.
According to TRAI’s estimates, Internet penetration in rural areas is low. Mobile messaging is the most effective tool as such, in view of the very good penetration (8.93 crore farm families). It is for this reason that e-governance for agriculture has been extended on the mobile phone.

Objective

mKisan SMS portal was brought into being with a view to boosting the delivery of agriculture extension services (need-based knowledge dissemination) to farmers, regardless of their geographical location in a “timely, specific, holistic” manner using mobile telephone widely so that all sectors of the economy use this platform to reach out to the farmers as well as address their concerns and queries. Thus, the objective is popularization of the mobile among the farming community, as well as to encourage its use as an effective tool of communication/knowledge dissemination.

How to avail the service?

To avail the services under mKisan, a farmer needs to get himself/herself registered at any of the following:

Kisan Call Centre

Call Kisan Call Centre via toll-free number 1800-180-1551. Registration can be done by KCC agent at KCC. The agent records the personal data such as name, address, etc. in Kisan Knowledge Management System (KKMS). The farmer then opts for text/voice message.
A farmer can opt for up to eight crop/activity for receiving SMS. This avoids receiving unnecessary messages for crops/practices that are not relevant to the farmer.

Web registration

Farmers having Internet access can register with the portal or visit the nearest Common Service Centre to register via Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE). The cost of registration via VLE is Rs 3 per registration. To register, visit this page http://mkisan.gov.in/wbreg.aspx
Fields such as name, mobile number, state, district, and block are to be furnished without fail. Farmers can opt for a mode of communication and preferred language, crop/activities.
When the ‘Register’ button is clicked, a verification code is sent to the mobile registered, the code is to be furnished on the webpage to complete the registration process.

SMS registration

To register via SMS, farmers need to send an SMS to 51969 or 7738299899.
The following IS the format of SMS
KISAAN REG < NAME >, <STATE NAME >, <DISTRICT NAME>, and <BLOCK NAME>
(Only first 3 letters of State, District & Block Names are needed).
Note: The commas are necessary.
After typing the message, the SMS has to be sent to 51969 or 7738299899.
Farmers need to pay for the SMS. For incoming SMSs from the officials, no price is charged.

Registering with extension officials

The Block Technology Managers, Assistant Technology Managers and all other extension officials at District/Block level collect data of farmers for mKisan Portal need collect data from the farming community when the former make field visits. The number of new farmers registered by an extension official is linked to the

Conclusion

mKisan is a mobile-based agriculture extension service that enables the farming community to get specific agriculture information on a real time basis. mKisan, the farmer app, can go a long way in extending agriculture e-governance in rural Indian landscape, where Internet penetration and basic overheads such as provision of electricity, skill level are woefully inadequate.

Ref pages

http://nceg.gov.in/
http://mkisan.gov.in/aboutus.aspx
http://mkisan.gov.in/ussdapplication.aspx
http://govtvia.com/2015/12/27/farmers-benefit-for-two-mobile-apps/
http://www.cabi.org/projects/project/33029

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