Bridging the gaps among the stakeholders of the primary sector by making better use of the available Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is what the Reliance Foundation has been doing for the last six years.
From mere double digit, the number of its stakeholders has now touched the one million mark spreading in about 3,500 villages and hamlets. Launched as a pilot project in East Godavari district in 2012, the services of the foundation have now expanded to all the 13 districts of the State.
“We have been serving the farmers and fisherfolk by making use of ICT. From providing weather updates and the satellite data pertaining to the potential fishing zones in the Bay of Bengal to arranging interactive sessions with scientists and subject experts in the video conferencing mode are the free services we are providing to the end users now,” says Chittibabu Nagulapalli, senior manager at the foundation.
Be it choosing the right time for plantation and harvest to the advice on the quantity of fertilizer and pesticide to be used, farmers are depending on the foundation’s call centre without any hesitation. Nearly 20% of the beneficiaries are from East Godavari district.
“Video interaction with the veterinary doctors is best among the services being provided by the foundation. Otherwise, it would be very difficult for us to cart the ailing cattle to the doctor and wait for our turn in the queue by postponing the day’s work,” explains Jalligampala Rambabu, who runs a mini-dairy at Kapavaram.
For fishermen, advance information about the potential zones is the major advantage.
“It saves time and fuel as well. At the end of the day, we are able to get significant returns from fishing,” says Dooda Masenu, motorboat owner from Uppada. Information collected from the INCOIS is being disseminated to the stakeholders on their mobile phones. “We can also take the help of the call centre during the sudden climate change when we are in the sea,” he points out.
“All we are doing is to ensure coordination among the departments concerned and making better use of the available technology. Officials and scientists too are evincing interest in taking part in the virtual interactive sessions. We are playing the role of the facilitator,” explains Mr. Chitti Babu.