Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura today attended the 15th Year Celebrations of Kisan Call Centre, Jammu being run by the Service Provider M/S IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL).Commissioner Secretary Agriculture Production Department, Mohammad Afzal Bhat, Union Deputy Secretary DAC & FW, P.C. Pandey, Secretary in Agriculture Production Department, Showket Ahmad Beigh, Director Agriculture Jammu, H.K. Razdan, Director Sericulture Mir Tariq Ali, Chief Manager IFFCO, Nirmal Singh and senior officers of Agriculture and SKUAST (J) were present on the occasion.Speaking on the occasion Minister said that Public extension system requires a paradigm shift from top-down, blanket dissemination of technological packages, towards providing producers with the knowledge and understanding with which they can solve their own location - specific problems.He stressed that continuous two-way interaction among the farmers and agricultural scientists is the most critical component of Agricultural Extension and Kisan Call Centre can play a very vital role in the process especially for the farmers in remote and inaccessible areas.
The Minister urged upon the maintenance of call quality standards and asked the experts to ensure a prompt response to the queries.He added that issues of farmers are being addressed by the Extension Systems of State Departments of Agriculture, State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), KVKs, NGOs, Private Extension Services through various extension approaches in transfer of technology. With the usage of an appropriate mix of technologies like telephone and Internet, the limitations in Transfer of Technology (TOT) can be overcome.Hanjura said that Kisan Call Centre should act as a channel between the scientists, policy makers, extension workers, farmers and other stakeholders to exchange views and evolve a unique and revolutionary role in development of agriculture sector in the state.He hoped that the farmers will avail benefits of the Kisan Call Centre and attain technical knowhow about modern farming. Commissioner Secretary Agriculture, lauded the efforts of Kisan Call Centre, in providing free of cost agriculture related scientific and technical information to the farmers.He said that majority of the farmers can use their mobile and landline phones to give feedback and also access free and easily available information and scientific advice from agriculture experts and scientists.
Speaking about the aims and objectives of scheme P. C. Pandey, Union Deputy Secretary, DAC & FW informed the participants that experts reply to the farmer’s queries through countrywide common eleven digits Toll Free Telephone Number 1800-180-1551 in their own language. The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India has launched Kisan Call centre on January 21st, 2004 to deliver extension services to the farming community.The programme was organized by IFFCO in collaboration with Department of Agriculture, Jammu during which Key note and Welcome addresses were presented by H. K Razdan, Director Agriculture Jammu and Shakti Singh, State Marketing Manager, IFFCO respectively.The Minister also talked to farmers on phone in the call centre.Others who attended the programme included Joint Director Agriculture (Extension) Jammu, R. L. Bhagat, Deputy Director Agriculture Central, C. M. Sharma, Deputy Director Agriculture Trainings Sunil Koul,Chief Agriculture Officer, Jammu N. K. Dubey and other Senior Officers of the department .A large number of farmers were also present who gave their valid suggestions for improving the functioning of the call centre.