Mobile Based Agriculture Information Service
The result what is being obtained in farmer’s field much varies from researcher’s plot. This is commonly called ‘Yield gap’. If we watch it very minutely we will find the reason behind of this gap is mainly for proper information that’s we term as ‘Information Gap’. So it is our prime duty to bridge between these gaps. Proper information i.e.; demand led information should be diffused at the farmers door step in right time. All though the country is heavily dependent on agriculture, but still the practice in agricultural field is very much traditional. Farmers have been using traditional inputs. But the major problem is- farmers feels trouble to take proper guidance/suggestion when they really needs. Present extension system can not full fill the demand of the time, due to it’s over burden. An agriculture extension personnel at block level has to discharge his service among 1500 farm families, which is not at all possible at this moment. This is the time to think other wise. We must depend on technology rather than traditional means. Mobile phone is such a strong tool, which is not much costly now a day, easy to carry and have good network connection at this moment. If we can use this mobile phone for technology dissemination, it would bring a significant result. Considering these, Agriculture Information Service (AIS) and Access to Information (A2I) Program of Honorable Prime Minister’s Office with the technical help from ‘Banglalink’ have launched mobile based agri information dissemination. With this service, SMS based technology dissemination is being transmitted among the farmers, farmers association, Government officials (from head quarter to field level), related NGO stakeholders and other allied personnel. Special emphasis has given to the Sub assistant agriculture officer (previously known as block supervisor), because many of them are not updated with recent technology in agriculture. In the SMS, generally we provide what to do in that time (e.g., what to do in very chilling condition, how to preserve potato in house for a long time etc.). Not only we are sending technological information, we are also sending administrative direction thorough this service. For an example, we can quickly ask to a particular district/upazilla official about any report/information through the SMS. It is very much helpful when we are asking same report/information from different areas. Traditionally we had to wait for Land phone, still internet and FAX is not available at every upazilla level offices. But the group SMS service has reduced the time/resources for communication. SMS is being sent as group SMS system, so that each and every person can get same information and same time. Primarily SMS is being prepared with English letter with Bengali accent (e.g., Apner). The SMS is being prepared and sent through web platform. When the SMS is prepared on line (as it is web based), it goes to the stakeholders (as much numbers as we want to add) through ‘Banglalink’ server. Besides the SMS service, AIS is going to launch IVR service. In this system, a farmer or any interested person can listen through mobile pre fixed information. This information/content will also be updated periodically. Necessary content has been prepared and experimentally we got success. we are expecting the formal inauguration within very short period.
What we deliver?
SMS, Group SMS, IVR of pre-fixed contents related to Agro-technology and different agricultural issues.
Why is the project unique?
The proposed project is unique in nature. Because as it has been mentioned earlier, it was very difficult to communicate with farmer communities and the officials of the remote areas. Moreover, as the same message is being transferred among several people, so less chance for message disruption. In IVR, one can get basic agricultural production based technology in 24×7.
Md. Nazrul Islam, Director
Agriculture Information Service (AIS)
1st Building, 1st Floor Khamarbari, Farmgate, Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh.
URL : http://www.ais.gov.bd