New Delhi,5 May (Lok Sabha):Farmers can dial 1551 (toll-free) to get answers to farming related queries. Kisan Call Centres (KCC) are functioning in 14 locations of the country and the Government has decided to increase the number to 28.The steps taken by the Government to ensure that such centres provide adequate information to the farmers are as under:(i) At present 144 Cell Center Agents are engaged in 14 KCCs who are answering farmers’ queries in 21 local dialects.
(ii) In case Call Centre agents (at level I) are not able to completely answer the farmers queries, calls are escalated to level II, (128 in number, nationwide) where experts from Agricultural Universities answer farmers queries directly. Out of 128 L II Experts, 2 are located in Jharkhand State.
(iii) 20 Nodal Officers designated by the Government of India are keeping liaison with the Call Centre agents for providing technical support for running the Kisan Call Centres.
(iv) Besides, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation has also taken initiative to develop a data structure in the form of Kisan Knowledge Management System (KKMS) and software is being developed to provide data-bank on various packages of practices on Crops, Horticulture, Poultry, Fishery, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Sciences. The data structure is designed to support the Kisan Call Centre as an information bank. KKMS facilitates Kisan Call Centre agents to provide correct answers to the farmers’ queries instantly.
In order to monitor the activities of Kisan Call Centres, a State level Monitoring Committee (SLMC) has been constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary (Agri.) with Director Agriculture and allied Deptts., representatives of local BSNL office and concerned nodal officer of KCC as members to address the issues related with training programmes, publicity and connectivity. Besides, it also ascertains the authenticity and accuracy of answers of KCC agents given to farmers’ queries.
(v) This information was given in the Lok Sabha today by Shri Kanti Lal Bhuria, Minister of State for Agriculture in a written reply.