Mobile tele-network launched for spices farmers

By TheHindu on 15 Mar 2017 | read

Spices Board of India in association with Indian Farmers and Fertilizers Co-operative Limited - Kissan Sanchar Limited (IFFCO Kissan Sanchar Limited) on Wednesday launched a mobile tele-network for direct interface and a new community of spices farmers, “Tamil Nadu Spices Community”.

The Board is enlisting spices farmers across the State to the proposed community. It is estimated to have an initial strength of around 6,000 farmers. The community through the tele-network will get voice messages every day on the schemes, projects, prices and announcements from the Board. The Board has planned to begin the services in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Sikkim, North Eastern States, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

The farmers of spices crops such as cardamom, chillies, curry leaf, coriander, pepper, nutmeg, cloves and herbs will receive messages related to various aspects of spices, cultivation, processing, marketing and exports. The Board will also stand to benefit in terms of having direct interface with the vast section of growers in Tamil Nadu.

Launching the facility, chairman of Spices Board A.Jayathilak said that in a country where close to 60 per cent of the 1.21 billion population still depended on agriculture for a living, the message service could be a boon to farmers in distant areas. This would be of great use to illiterate farmers who were not technologically equipped thus leading to better involvement and participation of the farming community with the Board. There would be a helpline also, where farmers could seek solution to their farm-related problems from the experts.

IFFCO IKSL would issue green cards i.e. Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards to the farmers to receive the messages.

IKSL would also transmit messages on weather conditions and forecasts and there would be opportunities for phone-in programmes through which the farmers could directly interact with the experts.

Tracing spices cultivation in Tamil Nadu, Mr.Jayathilak said that chillies were grown in Salem, Theni, Ramnad and Sivaganga. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon and parsley were grown in the villages in and around Udhagamandalam of the Nilgiris district. Cardamom was grown in Western Ghats bordering Kerala, Meghamalai hills and Kolli hills. Bold varieties of pepper were grown in Kodaikannal and lower hills of Palani, Kolli hills and Kanyakumari districts. Madras finger turmeric, an internationally acclaimed variety, was grown in Salem, Erode and Clove was grown in Kanyakumar and Coutralam hills. Curry leaves, one of the important spices exported, was grown in Mettupalayam, Salem, Dindigul, Kovilpatty, Thirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts and Tamarind was pre-dominantly grown in Tamil Nadu.

Network to help farmers have direct interface with Spices Board

Board to send voices messages to farmers on prices, projects every day

Special Correspondent