Mobilink on Sunday launched its new value added service (VAS) “Ba Khabar Kisaan” to connect farmers, agribusinesses and rural communities to increase productivity, profitability and innovation in the agriculture sector by providing timely and accurate information.
The app based service utilizing interactive voice response technology will provide farmers information and services related to agriculture such as optimized cultivation methods, modern farming techniques, health education for farmers, health precautions for plants, 24/7 helpline with training, weather information, crop insurance, market related information and a platform for sales.
The launch of ‘Ba Khabar Kisan’ was held in Dera Sardar Sarfraz Khan, Attock, where a large number of local farmers were present to witness the ceremony.
Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), Aamir Ibrahim, CEO – Mobilink and Warid Telecom and Dr. Nadeem Amjad, Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, were present at the launch ceremony where they provided a breakdown of the service’s benefits to the farming community.
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“With the launch of our ‘Ba Khabar Kisaan’ service, Mobilink is showcasing that mobile operators can offer much more than just basic communication facilities,” said Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Mobilink and Warid Telecom.
“This service is in line with the direction we took by re-introducing Jazz, as we now want to offer our subscribers freedom of choice, digital empowerment and the power to do more with less; ultimately becoming the first Telco to reach out and reshape all echelons of society”, he added.
“We believe this service will play an integral role in ensuring farmers get their due reward for playing an important role in the society by transforming their ability to increase crop yields, improve efficiency and grow incomes,” Aamir Ibrahim further added.
He further said that earlier mobile was used only for communication, however with the introduction of new technologies and innovation, its scope has been expanded. However, Aamir said that mobile is like a remote in hands and all depends on its usage.
Dr. Syed Ismail Shah said the government is continuously making all necessary arrangements to ensure that farmers are provided sufficient support against problems that climate change and urbanization bring.
“We still believe a lot more can be done if the telecom sector plays its due role. In relation to this, we have held various seminars on successful telecom – agricultural models from around the world to stress on the fact that more mobile-based applications are needed for better usage of telecom in agriculture”, said Dr. Ismail in his keynotes.
Chairman PTA said that with the 3G/4G spectrum auction, modern technologies have been introduced in the country, serving all segment of life including health, education, agriculture, besides creating jobs opportunities for the young generation.
He further said that one should not be totally dependent on government and should work hard to take the country comparable to other competitors in the region especially in the technology field.
“Thus, it gives me immense pleasure that Mobilink decided to launch a mAgri service in line with international standards with the core objective of increasing agricultural productivity and income. And PTA will continue encouraging the development of local content based applications and is willing to extend all sort of support to help farmers through the provision of reliable and timely information, automation of certain agriculture processes using specialized applications, and connecting the buyers and sellers in the market place,” he further added.
The free of cost service has been developed after understanding the needs of local farmers. It focuses on three pain points of the agricultural sector – productivity losses, supply chain inefficiencies, and financial exclusion – by offering relevant & timely information, supply chain related services, and mobile financial services.
Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Dr. Nadeem Amjad said that the new innovations introduced by the Mobilink can play pivotal role in increasing agriculture productivity and controlling diseases by giving timely information to farmers.
He said that PARC is ready to extend any kind of support in the field of research and development to the organization to extend it other parts of the country.