New Delhi, June 7 2015: Simple mobile services designed to help small-scale farmers in emerging markets could boost the farm gate incomes of 70 million Indian farmers by over Rs 560 billion (Rs. 56,000 crore) by 2020 suggests a report on 'Connected Farming in India' commissioned by global telecom leader, Vodafone.
Based on research commissioned from Accenture Strategy with support from the Vodafone Foundation, the study has found that the average farming household lives on less than Rs. 250 per day with many farmers struggle to feed and educate their families. Simple mobile services could enhance earnings of almost two thirds of such farmers by an average of Rs. 8,000 per year, creating a positive impact in communities.
The Connected Farming in India report report was released by Raghav Chandra, Additional Secretary, in the Indian Ministry of Agriculture, at a conference last week, organised by ASSOCHAM on the potential of mobile to transform agricultural value chains for enabling e-Kranti.
He said,” Technology for farmers is one of the focus areas under e-kranti ( e-revolution) a key pillar for realising the Digital India vision. The future of agriculture lies in bringing digital services to the farm as agriculture is increasingly becoming more and more knowledge intensive. The potential of mobile services in delivering this is unique as can be gauged by the success of the mKisan ( mobile farmer) initiative that unleashes the power of the mobile in the hands of the farmers."
India is one of the world’s largest food producers with more than 200 million people currently estimated to work in agriculture, around 10 crore of them farmers and the remainder working as agricultural labourers. Around 62% of farmers own less than one hectare of land, significantly increasing their exposure to the effects of crop failure, pests, disease and volatile market pricing
Link to the full 48 page report in PDF: Connected Farming in India:
How mobiles can support famers' livelihoods
Vodafone also announced the expansion of its Farmers’ Club initiative in six countries, including ‘KisaanMitr’ in India and its equivalents in other emerging markets –Ghana, Kenya, New Zealand and Tanzania-over the coming year and in Turkey where it has been operational since 2009 and has already benefitted 1.2 million farmers, helping them to enhance crop yields and increase farm gate incomes. The Vodafone Farmers’ Club is a social business model which offers a range of mobile services to help farmers boost productivity. Specific services offered under the Farmers’ Club in each country will vary but will include information services, virtual marketplaces in which farmers can sell their produce and mobile money financial services and products.