JAMMU: Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura on Sunday attended the 15th year celebrations of Kisan Call Centre, Jammu being run by service provider M/S IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL).
The programme was organised by IFFCO in collaboration with Department of Agriculture, Jammu.
Commissioner Secretary Agriculture Production Department, Mohammad Afzal Bhat, Deputy Secretary DAC & FW (government of India), P.C. Pandey, Secretary in Agriculture Production Department, Showket Ahmad Beigh, Director Agriculture Jammu, H K Razdan, Director Sericulture Mir Tariq Ali, Chief Manager IFFCO, Nirmal Singh and senior officers of Agriculture and SKUAST (J) were present on the occasion.
According to an official handout, the minister said that public extension system requires a paradigm shift from top-down, blanket dissemination of technological packages, towards providing producers with the knowledge and understanding with which they can solve their own location- specific problems.
He stressed that continuous two-way interaction among farmers and agricultural scientists is the most critical component of Agricultural Extension and Kisan Call Centre can play a very vital role in the process especially for the farmers in remote and inaccessible areas, the handout read.
The minister urged upon the maintenance of call quality standards and asked the experts to “ensure a prompt response to the queries”.
“Issues of farmers are being addressed by the extension systems of State Department of Agriculture, State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), KVKs, NGOs, private extension services through various extension approaches in transfer of technology,” he said adding that with the usage of an appropriate mix of technologies like telephone and Internet, the limitations in Transfer of Technology (TOT) can be overcome.
Hanjura said, “Kisan Call Centre should act as a channel between the scientists, policy makers, extension workers, farmers and other stakeholders to exchange views and evolve a unique and revolutionary role in development of agriculture sector in the state.”
He hoped that the farmers will avail benefits of the Kisan Call Centre and attain technical knowhow about modern farming.
Commissioner Secretary Agriculture Production Department, Mohammad Afzal Bhat lauded the efforts of Kisan Call Centre, in providing free of cost agriculture related scientific and technical information to the farmers.
He said, “Majority of the farmers can use their mobile and landline phones to give feedback and also access free and easily available information and scientific advice from agriculture experts and scientists.”
Speaking about the aims and objectives of scheme Deputy Secretary, DAC & FW (government of India) P C Pandey, informed the participants that experts reply to the farmer’s queries through Indiawide common eleven digits Toll Free Telephone Number 1800-180-1551 in their own language. The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India has launched Kisan Call Centre on January 21st, 2004 to deliver extension services to the farming community, the handout further read.
The minister also talked to farmers on phone in the call centre.
A large number of farmers were also present who gave their valid suggestions for improving the functioning of the call centre.