Smart Mobile Phone and KISAN SIM to provide agro-met advisory services to farmers of Rupandehi
In 15th January 2017(Magh 2, 2073),District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) Rupandehi, organized handover ceremony in order to distribute AMIS Infrastructure(KISAN SIM, Smart Mobile Phone, Rain-gauge and Thermometers) to farmers group/co-operatives associated with DADO and District Livestock Service Office (DLSO) of Rupandehi District for dissemination of expert agricultural knowledge. Fifty participants representing government agencies, non-governmental organizations, farmers group and private sectors, media group participated in the programme. The programme was remarkably strong; it included presence of Joint Secretary from Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD), National Project Director from PPCR:BRCH-AMIS, Regional Director from Regional Agriculture Directorate Office Pokhara, Chief District Officer (DAO)-Rupandehi, representative from District Development Committee (DDC)-Rupandehi, Senior Agriculture Development Officer (SADO)-Rupandehi, Chief from District Livestock Service Office (DLSO)-Rupandehiand members of PPCR:AMIS Project Management Unit. Senior Agriculture Development Officer (SADO) Mr. Bhoj Raj Sapkota honored all the stakeholders of distribution ceremony. Mr. Sapkota in his speech expressed that ICT initiatives would definitely help farmers, farmers group and youths to leverage their skill to improve the lives of smallholder farmers by disseminating agro-advisories and climate information services under early warning system (EWS) in more accessible medium as timely access tothis information could increase food productionand help them overcome the challenges of extreme climate variabilities.
Joint Secretary Mr. Ishwar Prasad Rijal as a Chief Guest Inaugurated the programme. He further highlighted that farmers of rural areas in Nepalhavelittle access to knowledge about climate smart farming practices, andagro-met advisory services together with crop, land and livestock production management. As a result PPCR:BRCH-AMIS Project under Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) realized to provide access to expert information through mobile telephony services and thus promote access to ICT in agriculture. Hence, the project managed the distribution of smart mobile phones, KISAN SIM cards, rain-gauge and thermometers to farmers of Rupandehi District, said Mr. Rijal. The main attraction of the distribution ceremony was smart mobile phone and KISAN SIM Card, with “Hamro-Krishi” mobile application which also has a platform to send queries. In addition, farmers get access to 2-3 messages every week in Nepalese language with specific information of crop and livestock production management, all free of cost. In addition, the messages cover information in relation toearly warning systems on weather forecast, best farming practices, local crops, upcoming training opportunities, event, plant and veterinary disease prevention, crop and livestock insurance services and government schemes. The information is further disseminated by a large network including: Agriculture Officer, Veterinary Officer, extension workers from DADO and DLSO.
Mr. Bishnu Prasad Ghimire, Project Director of PPCR:BRCH-AMIS shared about services AMIS is providing in district level, for instance, KISAN Call Centre, “HamroKrishi” mobile application, KISAN SIM, Smart Mobile Phone, Rain-gauge and Thermometer, Agro-Met Advisory Bulletin, approaches to prepare bulletin andRoving Seminars at farmers level. Mr. Ghimire concluded his presentation saying that PPCR:BRCH-AMIS has been contributing to bring the digital world within reach for farmers of rural areas.
After the presentation of Mr. Ghimire, there was formal distribution of AMIS infrastructure byJointSecretary from MoAD Mr. Ishwar Prasad Rijal, Chief District Officer Mr. Binod Prakash Singh, Regional Agriculture Director Mr. Sharad Chandra Shrestha and Senior Agriculture Development Officer Mr. Bhoj Raj Sapkota which included KISAN SIM, Smart Mobile Phone, Rain-gauge and thermometers. Representative of farmer’s group Mr. Ram Naresh Pasiexpressed his pleasure considering himself as a lucky person to receive smart mobile phone and KISAN SIM that wouldenhance his knowledge on agriculture through agro-advisory service, SMSalert service under early warning system and “HamroKrishi” mobile application. He further shared his experience of previous year of losing 30% of yield during harvest of ‘ChaiteDhan’ as a result of heavy rainfall which could have been minimized to some extent in case of SMS alert under early warning system.
Special Guest, Mr.Binod Prakash Singh (Chief District Officer) from Rupandehidistrictappreciated the project and programme as a good initiation of ICT in agricultural sector. “Sometimes, small intervention makes big difference to the lives of people and in my opinion, SMS alert system and agro-advisory services can be good example to bring positive changes in favor of farmers to cope with extreme climatic conditions and apply climate smart tools and technologies in their system of agriculture”, said Mr. Singh. While nearing to the end of session, Regional Agriculture Director Mr. Sharad Chandra Shrestha from Regional Agriculture Directorate (RAD) gave closing remarks. In his remarks he articulated that activities of AMIS would definitely strengthen the knowledge of farmers on climate change and use of climate information services. However, he motivated farmers for efficient utilization of received materials. The entire programme was facilitated by Mr. Hari Prasad Regmi, Agriculture Officer working PPCR: BRCH-AMIS Project.