Prime Minister distributed KISAN SIM, Smart Mobile Phone in favor of farmers of Kailali District
Agriculture Management Information System (AMIS) Project organized a distribution ceremony of KISAN SIM and Smart Mobile Phone in favor of farmers by Honorable Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) in Kailali District Nepal.
In order to make country self-reliant in agriculture production, the much talked project “Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project (PMAMP) was inaugurated by Honorable Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) in KailaliDistrict atUdasipur VDC on 21st December 2016 where Kailali district has been declared as a super zone for wheat production. Government of Nepal, Ministry of Agricultural Development has classified agriculture production sector into pockets, blocks, zones and super zones. Once the formal inauguration of PMAMP project was over, Honorable Prime Minister distributed KISAN SIM, Smart Mobile Phone with already installed “Hamro-Krishi” mobile application to five farmers community of Udashipur VDC atKailali district on behalf of Agriculture Management Information System (AMIS) project implemented by MoAD. Honorable Prime Minister, in his address, emphasized the importance of the technology to bridge knowledge gap among smallholder farmers of rural areas. This service will not only provide agro-climate information, insect-pest & disease management and smart production technologies, but such programme can be integrated with PMAMP in days ahead, he added. More than thousands of participants representing government agencies, non-governmental organizations, farmers group and private sectors, media group were present in this grand event. The entire programme was facilitated by Mr. Kashi Raj Dahal, Joint Secretary at the MoAD.
Minister for Agricultural Development, Mr. Gauri Shankar Chaudhary as a Special Guest of the inauguration ceremony said that PMAMP project would definitely contribute smallholder farmers to participate in land-pooling for development of specific crop in area to get recognition of pockets, blocks, zones and super-zones with an aim to promote smallholder farmers to enter the scheme by consolidating landmasses through cooperatives. Likewise, he added that leveraging information technology to provide latest agro-climate information services, climate smart production technologies, insect-pest and disease management, market prices, availability of seeds, pesticides and fertilizers to farmers would be crucial in strengthening agriculture-based economy. Therefore, synchronization of AMIS with PMAMP would bring scientific approach in traditional techniques of farming.
Secretary Dr. SurajPokharelmentioned the importance of climate information service and its direct relevance with Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA). He further stressed that, “Recently endorsed Agriculture Development Strategy” (ADS) 2015-2035 has prioritized use of ICT in agriculture and ongoing AMIS project is also adopting this policy document for the project”. He explained that climate change has played an acute role in keeping smallholders in the underbelly of value chains. Farmers can no longer rely on timeworn coping strategies when all of their familiar benchmarks for making agricultural decisions, the timing of rains for planting and pasture, the probability of drought, the duration of dry intervals that spare crops from disease are increasingly less reliable. Therefore, in the context of globalizing agriculture where the need for information becomes most vivid for weather forecast, climate smart agricultural tools/technologies, agro-advisory services, ICT can be way forward to address those challenges. Thus, climate and weather news integrated in the phone-based agricultural information would advise and support smallholder farmers, added Dr. Pokharel.
“As the major objective of the project is to keep farmers abreast of climate information services and protect them from distress, they will get early warning information about drought, rainfall, rising temperature along with methods and advances in plant protection through regular SMS so that they can make right decision at right time”, said Mr. Bishnu Prasad Ghimre, National Project Director of AMIS. Besides, farmers can ask question through mobile application concerning when to apply fertilizer, insect, pest and disease management, seeds and varieties, he said.
Farmers were very happy to receive those support from government enabling them to make informed decisions against extreme weather condition during land preparation, plantation, disease, insect and pest management, harvesting.