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The project awarded by mFarmer Initiative, a partnership between the GSMA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID aims to provide small farmers with high quality, relevant and timely information and advice delivered via mobile
Mobile Value Added Service (mVAS) provider Handygo Technologies has been awarded a project from the GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation to support the design and launch of an agricultural mVAS to benefit approximately 1 million small farmers in India over the next two years.
The project is awarded by the mFarmer Initiative, (a partnership between the GSMA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID) which was launched in 2011 with the aim to provide small farmers with high quality, relevant and timely information and advice delivered via mobile. Handygo has termed this rural mVAS initiative as ‘mKisan’. The project aims to empower small farmers by providing information and advisory on agriculture and livestock to help them improve their yield and income.
mKisan is a unique mobile-based extension service which includes comprehensive information and advice on a wide range of relevant topics including crops and livestock, agricultural bulletins comprising agro met advisory, information on market prices, pest and disease alerts and a dedicated farmer helpline. In addition to this, the mKisan project also aims to test video-based advisory and knowledge sharing tools amongst farmers and will provide specific services for women farmers.
Commenting on the announcement Praveen Rajpal, CEO, Handygo Technologies said, “It’s a matter of pride for Handygo Technologies to have the privilege of being associated with the GSMA for such an important cause aimed at empowering the rural community as a whole. This project is a result of our efforts in the field of rural empowerment and has won us recognition.”
Handygo Technologies will use its associations for mKisan product development and marketing. The company has framed a consortium with CABI, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Digital Green for this project. CABI will support on actionable agriculture content and subject matter specialists, ILRI for livestock content and Digital Green for video content on agriculture and livestock. Handygo will promote mKisan in six major states of the country in their regional languages.