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Few takers for mobile-based applications for farmers in Gujarat

The Gujarat government has received lukewarm response from farmers for the mobile applications launched by it for providing them information related to agriculture.

Hardly one percent farmers are using mobile applications in the state for receiving information from the government, according to state government and industry officials.

The Gujarat government has so far launched around 20 mobile applications for passing on relevant agri-related information to farmers. Some of these are crop specific applications.

Recently Navsari Agriculture University had developed an Android application ‘Kisan Mitra’ that provides agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry information to farmers in Gujarati language. This application can be run without internet connectivity.

Farmers’ response to ‘i-kisan’ web portal and mobile application at Krishi Mahotsav in Morbi launched by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel last month has also been poor.

Agreeing to the poor response from farmers, Govind Patel, state agriculture minister said, “The Gujarat government has developed several mobile applications for farmers but their response has been very poor. Hardly, one percent farmers in the state use mobile application as they are not much aware about it.”

According to Patel, about 70,000 farmers out of over 7 million farmers have so far registered on i-kisan portal in the state. The numbers are far lesser in mobile application.

B L Radadiya, directorate of information technology, Navasari Agriculture University said, “Right now, farmers are not using mobile applications but it will go up as adoption ratio is increasing slowly. We have developed the mobile application keeping in mind the future.” He said, “Currently, farmers, who are close to urban areas, use mobile applications as they are aware about it. This number comes to about 5 percent in Gujarat.”

Fertilizer and agriculture equipment companies and submersible pump manufacturers, who are also providing mobile applications to farmers, have also failed to evoke good response from them.

Jayesh Patel, managing director of Ozat Pumps from Rajkot said, “Farmers can set time to on and off the pump, fix the water dragging limit. Farmers have not preferred to use it as they are not much comfortable with it.”

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