The Odisha government has distributed around 60,000 free mobile phones among farmers so far to help them access information related to agriculture activities and market information, Cooperation Minister S.N. Patro said on Wednesday.
In a written reply to Congress member Naba Kishore Das, the Minister told the state Assembly the 59,282 phones were distributed through Regulated Marketing Committees (RMCs).
He said other farmers would also get mobile phones in phases as the state government has made a budgetary allocation this year and floated a tender for this purpose.
It has been proposed to distribute more mobiles to the farmers by March next year, said the Minister.
Patro said while 18,000 mobile phones were distributed among farmers in 2013-14, 41,282 mobile phones were provided to women farmers holding Kisan Credit Cards in 2016-17.
About 15,000 farmers out of the total farmers who received cell phones, are receiving messages in Odia language on market price of different agricultural produce, he said.
The mobile phones are distributed under the scheme ‘Providing free mobile phone to farmers to access market information’ to enable them to get up to date information on prices of agricultural commodity prevailing in the different market.
The market price of agriculture produces were being given under Digitalmandi for Indian Kisan scheme and the farmers are taking advantage of these messages to know about the market price of their produces, the minister said.
According to the Agricultural Census 2010-11, Odisha has 46.67 lakh farmers.