Bakhabar Kisaan service has been launched aiming at improving productivity and efficiency of farming community in Pakistan. Bakhabar Kissan suggests that 18% of farmers in Pakistan (directly or indirectly) own smartphones while 82% of the farmers have legacy phones. It is estimated that by 2018 the number of farmers with access to smartphones will grow to 25%.
In Pakistan many public and private agricultural research institutions are thriving to tackle climate change consequently improving per acre yield of crops, fruits and vegetables. Research based updated knowledge and agricultural information is readily available with research institutions but having limited or poor information.
Bakhabar Kissan has played the role of bridging the farming communities and the research stations to eliminate this deficiency currently being faced by agriculture extension departments (main arm of all government agencies working in deploying of products and services to farmers). Three step approach has been taken to tackle this issue by developing:
- Mobile App for the smart phone users
- SMS platform for smart phone as well as legacy phone user
- IVR, backed by Call Center for farmers who cannot read or wants direct interaction with agricultural expert for their problems
In a short span of 3 months, since the official launch of Bakhabar Kissan on October 16th 2016, over 700,000 farmers have been subscribed successfully to the service. Bakhaber kissan service broadcasts around 500,000 sms every day to share latest information. Over 5000 calls are being placed on Bakhabar Kissan’s IVR daily to retrieve information about crops, vegetables, fruits and livestock, etc. Also Bakhabar Kissan call center receives over 500 calls per day with variety of queries.
Currently Bakhabar Kissan’s platform sends nearly one million (1,000,000) SMSs per day to its subscribed farmers, numbers are increasing by 5% every day. Bakhabar Kissan service aims to sending around three million (3,000,000) SMSs per day by May 2017. Farmer receives 2 to 3 SMSs per day containing information regarding weather, mandi rates and “Tip of the day” for the crop he has subscribed for.
Currently Bakhabar Kissan’s platform sends nearly one million (1,000,000) SMSs per day to its subscribed farmers
According to a survey conducted by Jazz Call center, 100% of the farmers responded that they willingly opted for this service. 84% farmers revealed that they were strongly satisfied with the information, quality of the content and customer services. 13% of the farmers were satisfied with Bakhaber Kissan while 3% were found not satisfied. An effort is underway to speak with those 3% farmers and to improve the service as per their feedback.
Upon entering Bakhabar Kissan application, you will be greeted with an image based list of all the various modules. At the bottom Bakhabar Kissan have attached ticker for user’s current location to show location based weather forecasts and mandi rates. The application consists of the following modules:
- Market Rates
The sole objective of Crops Module is to educate farmers as much as possible
The News module serve as a portal for Bakhabar Kissan farmers to read the latest stories regarding the agriculture industry inside and outside Pakistan.
Report. Bakhabar Kissan Plays the Role of Bridging the Farming Communities. Phone World, February 12, 2017.