Bakhabar Kisaan service has been launched aiming at improving productivity and efficiency of farming community in Pakistan. Bakhabar Kissan suggests that 18% of farmers in Pakistan (directly or indirectly) own smartphones while 82% of the farmers have legacy phones. It is estimated that by 2018 the number of farmers with access to smartphones will grow to 25%.
In Pakistan many public and private agricultural research institutions are thriving to tackle climate change consequently improving per acre yield of crops, fruits and vegetables. Research based updated knowledge and agricultural information is readily available with research institutions but having limited or poor information.
Bakhabar Kissan Plays the Role of Bridging the Farming Communities
Bakhabar Kissan has played the role of bridging the farming communities and the research stations to eliminate this deficiency currently being faced by agriculture extension departments (main arm of all government agencies working in deploying of products and services to farmers). Three step approach has been taken to tackle this issue by developing:
- Mobile App for the smart phone users
- SMS platform for smart phone as well as legacy phone user
- IVR, backed by Call Center for farmers who cannot read or wants direct interaction with agricultural expert for their problems
In a short span of 3 months, since the official launch of Bakhabar Kissan on October 16th 2016, over 700,000 farmers have been subscribed successfully to the service. Bakhaber kissan service broadcasts around 500,000 sms every day to share latest information. Over 5000 calls are being placed on Bakhabar Kissan’s IVR daily to retrieve information about crops, vegetables, fruits and livestock, etc. Also Bakhabar Kissan call center receives over 500 calls per day with variety of queries.
Currently Bakhabar Kissan’s platform sends nearly one million (1,000,000) SMSs per day to its subscribed farmers, numbers are increasing by 5% every day. Bakhabar Kissan service aims to sending around three million (3,000,000) SMSs per day by May 2017. Farmer receives 2 to 3 SMSs per day containing information regarding weather, mandi rates and “Tip of the day” for the crop he has subscribed for.
Currently Bakhabar Kissan’s platform sends nearly one million (1,000,000) SMSs per day to its subscribed farmers
According to a survey conducted by Jazz Call center, 100% of the farmers responded that they willingly opted for this service. 84% farmers revealed that they were strongly satisfied with the information, quality of the content and customer services. 13% of the farmers were satisfied with Bakhaber Kissan while 3% were found not satisfied. An effort is underway to speak with those 3% farmers and to improve the service as per their feedback.
Upon entering Bakhabar Kissan application, you will be greeted with an image based list of all the various modules. At the bottom Bakhabar Kissan have attached ticker for user’s current location to show location based weather forecasts and mandi rates. The application consists of the following modules:
- Market Rates
The sole objective of Crops Module is to educate farmers as much as possible
The News module serve as a portal for Bakhabar Kissan farmers to read the latest stories regarding the agriculture industry inside and outside Pakistan.
The Products module provides farmers with tried and tested products available throughout Pakistan. As the user enters the Products module they are shown several categories to choose products from. For example, if user selects Fertilizer Category, Bakhabar Kissan shows them a list of reputable fertilizers companies, their famous products and the prices. Selecting any specific product will take user to the products page which will allows user to read detail product description and also option to call the manufacturers. Another unique feature in the Product Detail Page is the list of all available dealers with exact location and address predicting Google Map. Bakhabar Kissan allows user to call a dealer directly from that page (normal rates will apply as per the farmers’ package plan).
The sole objective of Crops Module is to educate farmers as much as possible about all the major crops and their production technologies in Pakistan think Wikipedia but easier to understand and more relevant to Pakistani farmers. As an example, the page on Wheat will let the farmer know about the Growth Stages, Seed Varieties, Land Preparation and Sowing, Seed Rate and Seed Size, Factors Affecting Seed Quality, Irrigation, Diseases, Pests, etc.
The Market Rates module will deliver the latest mandi rates for various agricultural items available on the market throughout Pakistan.
The weather module tries to pinpoint the user’s location and provide them with updated weather forecast for the next 5 days including temperature, humidity, cloud cover, wind speed, wind direction, and icon that’ll represent the condition (rain, cloudy, thunderstorms).
The “Videos Module”, as the name suggests gives access to a wide variety of videos that Bakhabar Kissan believes farmers will find helpful and acquaint them with modern farming techniques.
The Discussion Board module will serve as a way for Pakistani farmers to communicate with each other. BaKhabar Kissan have modeled the discussion board based on popular and successful online discussion boards. Any farmer can post his/her query in this board and any available farmer having solution can reply to that query.
To top it off, every aforementioned services are totally free for a farmer who registered using Jazz subscription.
Through SMS, IVR, and Application based services Bakhabar Kissan wants to completely revolutionize the farming techniques throughout Pakistan. Farmers will no longer have to waste their valuable time. Bakhaber Kissan is providing all the relevant, important and updated information on their fingertips. Bakhabar Kissan have compiled an incredible amount of data regarding the agriculture industry through various reputable organizations such as PARC, NARC, ARID University Rawalpindi and University of Haripur.
Around 2 million farmers will be subscribed to BaKhabar Kissan by end of 2017. By setting Bakhabar Kissan year on year increase of users at 45%, our goal is to have 5 million farmers on board by 2020.
One can subscribe (Free – for Jazz & Warid Users) to Ba Khabar Kissan by dialing 03 03 03 000 00 or by downloading Ba Khabar Kissan App from Play Store on your Android Phones.