The income of seven crore small scale farmers in the country can be increased by Rs 56,000 crore over the next 5 years by introducing simple mobile phone based services, says a report.
Simple mobile services like agricultural information, payments and loans, field audit and local supply chain can enhance earnings of almost two-thirds of farmers by an average of Rs 8,000 per year, it said.
"The introduction of simple mobile services designed to help small scale farmers in emerging markets could boost farm gate incomes of 7 crore Indian farmers by over Rs 56,000 crore in 2020," as per the report, 'Connected Farming In India'.
The report is based on the research commissioned from Accenture Strategy with support from Vodafone foundation. It found that the average farm household lives on less than Rs 250 per day with many farmers struggling to feed and educate their families.
"It has been observed that in the developing countries simple mobile services could enhance earnings of almost two thirds of farmers and it will also create a positive impact on the life of farming communities," Vodafone India MD and CEO Sunil Sood said here at the launch of 'Farmers' Club'.
He said that initially this service will be provided free of cost and it will be available in 10 languages. Vodafone Farmers' Club is SMS based service which will provide agriculture related information to help farmers boost productivity.
Launching farmers club in India, Vodafone Group Regional Chief Executive for Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region, Serpil Timuray, said: "One-third of humanity relies on food grown by 500 million smallholder farmers with less than two hectares of land.
"Mobile has a critically important role to play in increasing agricultural resilience and enhancing quality of life for some of the poorest people on earth." The report was released by Additional Secretary Agriculture Ministry Raghav Chandra at a conference organised by Assocham.
Releasing the report, Chandra said that increasingly there is a realisation that use of information technology has to become more pervasive and that is perhaps the only way we can achieve the next green revolution.
"A large, stupendous scope of work is on the anvil to reach out to the farmer and to change his life," Chandra said.