Agriculture through SMS

July 13, 2013

Irsa Saleem

Agriculture through SMS
Agriculture through SMS

Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan. Half of the population’s direct source of income is agriculture. Agriculture is facing a lot of problems nowadays, which is resulting in increase in poverty ratio every year. We have first investigated the complete lifecycle of farming and have tried to find solutions to the problem faced by the farmer throughout the life cycle.

The communication gap between farmers and agricultural information providers is the actual problem. Taking maximum advantages of technology we therefore need to develop a platform where farmers and agricultural information providers can communicate with much more ease as compared to typical communication methods. The most convenient system can be of proper utilization of the medium of mobile phone which is already a most popular facility. Information providers and service experts can share the information on this platform where it can be stored. The stored information can be delivered to farmers through SMS. System has the functionality of automated query response feature which is very useful for the farmers. it is so encouraging to know that the Punjab Directorate of Agricultural Information has also launched this program that is indeed the Need of Today, specially when the Cell Phone is the most common commodity in hands of our men and women from all segments of our society.

The cell (mobile) phone is the most convenient mean of communication provided it’s right and positive utilization is properly realized, understood and utilized. . It can be a direct fast and instant link of information exchange between remote agriculture professional experts and a field worker. For example an ordinary worker on his field can be instantly updated or his quarries can handled about availability and access of Agriculture Machinery and Equipment / Fertilizers / Pesticides and other agri-chemicals / Seeds and specially weather fore casts that can help a farmer on field to properly plan and implement his crop management to lift cost effective yields.

Most of the Agriculture based countries especially in South Asia Region are promoting and effectively utilizing SMS Agriculture Information Services to keep their farmers updated and properly advised instantly on their fields. This service is working effectively in other countries like Kenya, South Africa, Thailand and India.

Since majority of our farmers cannot understand English the limitation of this SMS service can be the written script of information especially if it is in English Language. So in order to make the system effective and valued addition a translation a simple module is also included . It will be therefore required that any information through SMS must be equipped with translator module in regional / local language / common terminologies in day to day farming that can be quickly readable, understandable and also applicable even by not sufficiently and properly educated farmer on field. It is therefore believed that the success implementation and management of this system will ultimately bring a viable change not only in farming applications but also it will help in maximizing the yields of our crops. Courtesy Frontier Post

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