Mobile Based Agro-Services – a Business Perspective N T Yaduraju ICRISAT
Only 40% of farmer access information about agricultural techniques , inputs and market information (India NSS, 2005).Sources of Agricultural Information • Progressive Farmers - 16.7% • Input Dealers - 13.1% • Radio - 13.0% • Television - 9.3% • Newspaper - 7.0% • Extension Worker - 5.7% Source: NSS, June, 2005 GoI
ICTs play a key role in improving the availability of agricultural production and market information in developing countries. ICT-based market information and farm advisory systems have a proven track record for improving rural livelihoods in developing countries where they have been introduced. While Internet-based market information and farm advisory systems work well in more developed, literate markets, other media such as mobile phones or community radio, could be appropriate alternatives in developing and least developed countries.
Touch Screen Computer-based Smartphone-based Radio-based Kiosks Information Systems Applications (GPRS & Broadcasts CDMA)Voice-based Mobile Solution & Tablets-based SMS-based Mobile Information Community Video Interactive Voice Messaging Systems Response Systems Systems Programs
Initiatives Market Farm Advisory Weather Information ForecastsNokia Life Tools √ √ √Reuters Market Light √ √ √IFFCO Kisan Sanchar √ √ √ Limitede-Choupal √ √ √ESOKO √ √ √CKW Program √Agropedia √SAPA Mobile √m-Krishi √
• Up-to-date agricultural information on agriculture, education & entertainment directly to a consumer’s Nokia phone• Rolled out commercially in India & Indonesia in 2009• Services are subscription oriented• SMS-based service sends basic text messages on an icon- driven interface• Relevant information received almost daily in local language (Hindi)• Available across 18 states, in 11 regional languages• Claims 14 million subscribers• Has several Private & public Sector Partners• Works across several mobile network operators (MNOs)
Displays information in 2 languages –English and in the local language(Bahasa-Indonesia & Hindi -India)
• RML offers Indian farmers up-to-date, customized information on commodity prices, local news, weather updates• Started in 2007. User base- over 80,000 farmers (2010)• Information relevant to 54 commodities in 270 mandis• Subscription entitles to: – Market prices and arrivals in three markets for each of the two crops chosen by the farmer – 24-hour local weather forecast relevant to the farmer’s taluka – Information on best practices of production for two crops Works across mobile network operators (MNOs)
• Choupal refers to meeting place in a village• Information on prices, weather forecasts & best practices• Supply chain integration & supply of farm inputs• aggregation of farm outputs to ensure competitive prices and efficient logistics• Direct marketing channel to lower transaction costs• Operating in 40,000 villages covering 4M farmers in 10 states through 6,500 kiosks• Plans to offer personalized crop management advisory services to individual farmers by integrating mobile phones into the digital and physical network of e-Choupal.
• Kenya’s most well known mobile based solution for agriculture.• Enables farmers to create linkages with market• Services offered: – Price Information • Up-to-date market information empowers farmers as they bargain for a fair price with middlemen and purchasers – Group Selling • Farmers get connected to each other to jointly market crops in greater volume, helping rural farmers access large-scale markets.
– Group Buying • Farmers get connected to suppliers and, through collective buying power, get significant bulk discounts on farming inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and equipment.– Customer Relationship Management • CRM module is targeted at cooperatives and large suppliers that want to manage their clients’ queries and responses.
• Incubated at Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia. Now a Private sector venture Comprehensive, Mobile-based supply chain and Information management system – integrates large numbers of smallholder farmers into commercial supply chains – facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships between smallholder farmers and exporters/buyers – Provides technical information, – recommend best practices to smallholder farmers at real time – Links smallholder farmer s’ production to specific market needs – currently operational among 5000 organic rice farmers
• Joint venture of IFFCO with Airtel to provide mobile tele- services to the rural farmers.• IKSL distributes Airtel SIM cards under the name “Green SIM” to the farmers• Subscribers are provided five voice-based messages free of cost every day.• Consumers can also access a toll-free helpline service• IKSL schedules its voice messages based on the local agricultural situation and queries on their helpline
• m-Krishi is a proprietary mobile agro-advisory system allows farmers to send queries to agricultural experts through a mobile phone and receive personalized advice in local language.• The end-to-end m-Krishi solution has been developed through the integration of technologies such as: – sensors – solar power – CDMA modem – CDMA network – handset with camera – an engine to assist in displaying mobile screens in Indian languages
• Developed under ICAR-NAIP project Agropedia- II• Service provider neutral• Currently being pilot tested involving nearly 10,000 farmers of 30 KVKs in: – 20 districts of Uttar Pradesh – 4 districts of Uttarakhand – 5 districts of Karnataka and – 1 of Andhra Pradesh
• SMS Text messages can be created in 11 different languages. Low cost Constrained with handsets & illiterate farmers• Voice Messages Experts can create messages in their own voice. Expert send messages either through the web or mobile phone Delivery of messages to the farmers on their registered number Relatively more expensive
Dynamic market information• Project based initiative by the TNAU, funded by DIT• Covers 13 major markets in south India• market analysis of 120 perishable commodities- fruits, vegetables & flowers• Collects whole sale and retail market price and uploaded to the website• Market information shared with farmers through FM radio and mobiles• Serving 35,000 farmers
• Voice-based information systems are better accessed by farmers as it works above the constraints of illiteracy and local language support• Greater mobile penetration in rural areas, will lead to more number of MNO/MSO to offer MVASs• The credibility and quality of service offered going to be important considerations• Two-way mobile application (E2F, F2E) • Farm-advisories alone can not be the business proposition, it needs to be supported by forward and backward linkages
• Government-funded and NGO-operated ICT solutions have an expiry date and when intervention ends, the solution needs a full sponsorship to revive its operations• Greater risk of negative impact of information explosion