Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)launches low-cost phablet to empower small farmers
A customised 'low-cost' phone cum tablet has been launched
for farmers by Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the
Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
The device will allow information to be precisely targeted
at individual farmers who own small plots of land to help them purchase inputs
at lower prices, get a better price for their produce and link them to markets,
to put them on the path to prosperity.
The device priced at USD 299, has been developed by
ICRISAT's Centre of Excellence in ICT Innovations for Agriculture in
collaboration with NUNC Systems, a city-based company.
This device acts like a mobile village knowledge centre or
common service centre, enabling farmers to benefit from contemporary
information and communication technologies and expanding Internet connectivity
in remote rural regions.
Apart from regular phone services, developing world farmers
would receive free messages about weather and pest problems while sharing the
most competitive agricultural inputs and crop prices.
The method has proven successful in pilot tests, according
to ICRISAT. In its first six trial months of operation, the initiative saved
food supplies while improving farm incomes through timely messages to 40,000
rural subscribers so far.
In 171 villages across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and
Karnataka, farm incomes have gone up, since farmers can now compare prices of
agricultural crops and inputs offered by both traditional local agents and the