“On offer will be affordable mobile handsets bundled with Airtel mobile connection. The farmer will also get access to a unique VAS platform that will broadcast 5 free voice messages on mandi prices, farming techniques, weather forecasts, dairy farming, animal husbandry, rural health initiatives and fertiliser availability etc. on a daily basis. In addition, the farmer will be able to call a dedicated helpline, manned by experts from various fields, to get answers to their specific queries.
Bharti Airtel will offer competitive calling rates @ 50 paise/minute for calls between IFFCO members.”
The Economic Times further reports that: “The JV will bring several hand-cranked products of common use. These include transistors, community radios and torches.” It also goes on to say that farmers will be able to charge their mobile phones without power by using some wind-up charger, which I think is really interesting.
I personally welcome this initiative as its a good example of technology working at the grass-root level, however talking about farmers in India also reminds me of very serious issue of farmers’ suicide and I just hope that something could be done to improve this grim situation.