World Transformation: Working Together
 Working Together
picture 17 Apr 2004 @ 23:59, by ming

From Synergic Earth News: BBC Technology -- India's hundreds of millions of farmers have a new friend in the eternal battle against failing crops and cattle diseases. Under a government scheme, agricultural workers in India's ancient, rural economy will have access to an innovation symbolic of India's booming new economy - the telephone call centre. Farmers who make the free phone call to the centre will find themselves speaking to one of many multi-lingual agricultural science graduates, trained to troubleshoot farming problems. ... The aim is to educate millions of farmers up and down the country about better methods in farming, animal husbandry and horticulture. Speaking to the BBC, junior agriculture minister Hukamdeo Narayan Yadav termed the move a revolutionary step in the agricultural history of the country. "These channels and call centres will also help in augmenting agricultural produce in the country and help India [become] a world leader in this field," said Mr Yadav. In total, there are eight call centres, each one manned seven days a week. They are expected to handle traffic from every state in India. The call-centre workers will address queries ranging from seed quality to the processing, packaging, transport and storage of produce. They will also tell the farmers about market rates and prevailing trends for their produce. "Those queries which the agriculture graduates fail to reply [to] will be passed on to specialists and if questions still remain unanswered, experts would send their replies through phone, post or personal visit", said Rahul Bhandari, who is associated with the project. (01/23/04)

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