PPCR2: Inauguration of Kisan Call Centre in Bara District
Formal inauguration of Kisan-Call Centre (Agro Call Centre) was conducted on 4th April 2016 in DADO Bara as an initiative for poor small holder farmers to increase their production through access to information about climatic hazards, potential agriculture markets and better farming practices. More than 50 participants from the government, farmers group, non-governmental organizations and research institutes attended the meeting. The government participants were from the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD), National Agriculture Research Council (NARC), District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) and District Development Committee (DDC). The programme was inaugurated by the Special Guest, Mr. Kashi Raj Dahal , Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD), Government of Nepal. Mr. Dahal highlighted the importance of farmers call centre and its linkages with Agricultural Development Strategy (ADS) of Nepal. He has shown keen interest in the project and underlined potential of information to bridge gap among farmers for which the Kisan Call Center initiative was built to enable farmers make better decisions about which crops to plant; how to plan activities in-line with changing weather patterns; where to find quality inputs; how to grow/rear crops/livestock for sale and home consumption.
Mr. Uttam Kumar Bhattrai, Secretary, Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD), Government of Nepal as a Chief Guest of ceremony was the major attraction of the event. He formally endorsed mobile SMS, Agro Advisory Bulletin and Hamro Krishi Apps in DADO Bara for targeted farmers of the district. Addressing the participants, Mr. Bhattarai shared his excitement saying “Through the Kisan Call Centre, farmers will now have open access to a team of highly skilled Agricultural experts readily available to provide solutions on a broad spectrum of agricultural topics in their local languages namely Bhojpuri etc. that would otherwise cost them a lot of money for expertise and consultation”. He further encouraged DADO Bara to have proper coordination and partnership among different concerned stakeholders like agriculture content providers and suppliers for having better access to unique information services like local technologies, crop and animal catalogues, daily & seasonal weather updates, market information among others. Mr. Narayan Prasad Pandey, Local Development Officer (LDO) from Bara as a Chairman of the ceremony said that Kisan Call Centre would not only enable farmers to make better farming decisions, increase yields, minimize post-harvest losses, and increases their business analysis to maximize revenues earned but also creates awareness of content partnership opportunities with the big Ag-research, content players, agriculture industry suppliers and so on.
The project in a nutshell was presented by Mr. Shib Nandan Prasad Shah, National Project Director PPCR:BRCH-AMIS Project. He shared about project objectives, outcomes, outputs, project sites, major progress until end of Fiscal Year 2071/72. Dr. Anand Gautam from NARC shared about role of NARC in implementation of AMIS Project. The entire ceremony was facilitated by Mr. Bishnu Ghimire, Agriculture Officer, Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD), Government of Nepal.
After the formal inauguration of Kisan Call Centre, Secretary Mr. Uttam Kumar Bhattrai along with DADO Team Bara, National Project Director were invited in Benauli for formal inauguration market shed and observation of fish farming.
Key recommendations from the participants
“Knowledge gap among the rural poor farmers is one of the key constraints to the growth of the overall agricultural sector of Nepal. To overcome this constraint, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) should be synthesized with the Agricultural Technology directly through establishing the modern “Farmer Call Center”. –Ram Ashare Shah-representative from farmers group.
“The expert team of DADO and DLSO should sit together at Farmer Call Centre to improve on the quality of content delivered to the farmers specifically focusing on whether the content is actionable, accurate, complete, relevant, and understandable. Quality assurance in terms of customer service delivery is of top priority. The Agriculture Experts should be equipped with skills in handling customers with exceptional quality of service”. Mr. Uttam Kumar Bhattrai- Secretary-Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD).
PPCR2: Operation of Farmers Call Centre in Bara.
The Farmer Call Centre is manned by Agriculture experts highly skilled in handling farmer queries on a broad spectrum of agricultural topics and are able to communicate in a wide range of languages; Bhojpuri, Nepali and English. Farmers can have access to call centre through a simple phone call by dialing Toll Free number-16605355000. The call centre is equipped with telephone, voice recorder, computer, digital display board and solar power back up system and with capabilities for developing farmer databanks through farmer registrations, registration and tracking of farmer queries and developing a searchable knowledge databank popularly known as Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) where answers to the farmer queries can be obtained. The call center services are available from Sunday to Friday between 10:00AM – 5:00PM. The picture illustrates about focal person explaining regarding operation of call centre in Bara to Secretary Mr. Uttam Kumar Bhattrai.