The Odisha Government has distributed around 60,000 free mobile phones among farmers so far, to help them access information related to agricultural activities, and market information, Cooperation Minister S N Patro recently said.
In a written reply to Congress member Naba Kishore Das, the Minister told the state Assembly that 59,282 phones had been distributed through Regulated Marketing Committees. He said other farmers would also get mobile phones in phases as the state government has made a budgetary allocation this year, and floated a tender for the purpose.
It has been proposed to distribute more mobile phones to farmers by March next year, said the Minister.
Patro said while 18,000 mobile phones were distributed among farmers in 2013-14, in all 41,282 mobile phones were provided to women farmers holding Kisan Credit Cards in 2016-17. About 15,000 farmers of the total farmers who received cell phones, now receive messages in Odia language on the market price of different agricultural produce, he said.
The mobile phones have been distributed under the scheme 'Providing free mobile phone to farmers to access market information', to enable them to get up-to-date information on prices of agricultural commodities prevailing in different markets.
The market price of agriculture produce is given under the Digitalmandi for Indian Kisan scheme, and farmers can take advantage of these messages to know about the market price for their produce, the minister said. According to the Agricultural Census 2010-11, Odisha has 46.67 lakh farmers.
With inputs from IANS